Nats’ Ramos, Lobaton trying to improve catching throws from right field
By Bill Ladson
WASHINGTON — Before Saturday’s game against the Brewers, Nationals manager Matt Williams had catchers Wilson Ramos and Jose Labaton work on catching throws from right field.
The practice came a day after Lobaton, normally a quality catcher, had a tough time catching a good throw from Bryce Harper in the seventh inning against the Brewers. It allowed two runs to score and Harper was charged with an error on the play.
“We want to make sure, given the homestand and us playing extended games [at Nationals Park], we want to make sure we have a good feel [for the throws]. That’s all it was today,” Williams said.
Ramos, especially, has had problems catching throws with a short hop from Harper. Ramos tries to tag the runner and catch the ball at the same time, which leads to the ball going past Ramos and allowing the runner to score.
There was pitching machine in right field, shooting missiles to Ramos and Lobaton. While they were making the plays, there is nothing like making the plays during the game.
“It helps us get more comfortable at the plate and practice the position of receiving the ball,” Ramos said. “Receiving balls from the outfield, we have short bounces, so it’s not easy catch that ball. You are thinking about the runner and the ball and you want to catch the ball and tag the runner quickly.
“Sometimes, we miss the ball because we try to be too quick. It’s part of the game. I know we have to catch the ball first and then tag the runner. We were practicing today — just catch the ball and [tag] the runner.