Results tagged ‘ Wilson Ramos ’
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.
By Bill Ladson
SAN FRANCISCO — Since the All-Star break, the Nationals are 10-17 and hitting .224 with a .295 on-base percentage.
Manager Matt Williams decided to make a few changes to the lineup Friday, sitting left fielder Jayson Werth, second baseman Anthony Rendon and catcher Wilson Ramos and replaced them with Clint Robinson, Danny Espinosa and Jose Lobaton, respectively.
Williams said he wanted some lefties in the lineup to face right-hander Matt Cain. The moves are not permanent. Werth and Rendon could be back in the lineup Saturday against San Francisco. Ramos most likely will not start that day because Lobaton is Gio Gonzalez’s personal catcher.
Werth and Rendon have been rusty since coming off the disabled list. Werth is 8-for-56 with a homer and six RBIs since July 28th, while Rendon is 15-for-67 [.224] with a homer and two RBIs since July 25.
“Jayson is still coming back from a wrist injury. It’s probably going to be a process from now until the end of the season,” Williams said. “That being said, Anthony has been heavy on his legs, too, and he is coming off a quad injury. We have to find him days [off], too.”
Ramos has been healthy all season, but he has not performed well with the bat and behind the plate. In fact, Lobaton is considered a better catcher because of his pitch framing and game calling.
To Williams, Ramos is not swinging at the right pitches. Williams gave Thursday’s game as an example of how badly Ramos has been going at the plate.
“We had the bases loaded [in the first inning],” Williams said. “He got ahead, 1-0, and then swung at the one he didn’t want to hit. He grounded out. It’s a little bit of that. His pitch selection [at the plate] could be a little better. He is fighting himself in pitcher’s counts.”
By Bill Ladson
NEW YORK — Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton started Sunday’s game against the Mets. It marked the fourth time in the last eight games that Lobaton was inserted into the starting lineup.
Manager Matt Williams said recently said that he hasn’t ruled out Lobaton getting more playing time behind the plate. He is already Gio Gonzalez’s personal catcher. Wilson Ramos, the team’s starting catcher, is not having a good year defensively and in a 5-for-55 [.091] slump to drop his batting average to .234.
“It depends on where we are at, Williams said about the catching situation. “It depends on matchups, where we are at. The deeper lineup allows us to have more flexibility in that regard, too.”
By Andrew Simon
WASHINGTON — Saturday was the Nationals’ fifth game since Bryce Harper’s return made their starting lineup whole again, and the offense broke out with a season-best performance in a 13-0 drubbing of the Cubs.
Matt Williams’ lineup card demonstrated the depth at his disposal, with the trio of Harper, Desmond and Ramos — capable of anchoring a batting order — filling the three slots ahead of pitcher Gio Gonzalez. The Cubs had to scramble for pitching after trading scheduled starter Jeff Samardzija on Friday night, and the Nats’ bats took advantage with season highs of 13 runs and 19 hits.
“It’s not easy to pitch to this lineup,” said Ramos, who went 2-for-5 with a double. “The leadoff guy, the eight guy, everybody can hit the ball well, so right now it’s hard for them to face us.”
Here’s a look at some numbers that stand out from the win:
- At 13-0, this was the biggest shutout victory of the season by any team. In terms of Nationals history (since 2005), it was by far their biggest winning margin in a shutout. Previously, Washington’s biggest shutout victory was by 10 runs.
- The Nats had scored in double digits only three previous times this season, with a high of 11. Two of those games came in April, and the last was May 31 against the Rangers.
- Ten Nationals recorded at least one hit on Saturday, including all eight starting position players, pitcher Gio Gonzalez and substitute Kevin Frandsen. Seven players recorded an RBI.
- The Nats’ eight doubles was a club record (since ’05). The last time it happened in franchise history was Sept. 18, 1998, when the Expos had eight against the Phillies. Two of the two-baggers in that contest came from third base coach Bob Henley and TV analyst F.P. Santangelo.
- The Nats batted around twice and had another frame in which they sent eight hitters to the plate. The only time they went down in order was in the eighth.
- Anthony Rendon stroked a career-high three doubles and has 21 for the season. In his last 31 games, he’s hitting .341/.396/.603.
- In his last 16 games of June, Jayson Werth hit .145/.264/.177 with two extra-base hits (both doubles), four RBI and 16 strikeouts. In his first four games of July, he’s 9-for-14 with five doubles, two homers, eight RBI and two strikeouts.
- Ryan Zimmerman went 4-for-5 on Saturday, his second four-hit game of the season, with the other coming April 3 against the Mets. Before this season, he had eight such games, but none since July 28, 2011. Zimmerman is batting .357 (15-for-42) with six doubles, a homer and eight RBI over his last 11 games.
- Since coming off the DL for the second time this year, Ramos is 9-for-26 (.346) with a double and a home run.
Follow Andrew Simon on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
By Bill Ladson
In the sixth inning of Friday’s 9-2 victory, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos reached base on a five-ball walk. The rules state that a player can reach base on a four-ball walk. It seems almost everyone lost track of the count, except Ramos.
According to Ramos, when the count reached 3-2, Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez asked home plate umpire Scott Barry what the count was and Barry replied, “2-2.” Ramos thought for sure the count was 3-2 and Barry repeated the count as 2-2. Even the Nationals’ scoreboard said the count was 3-2. Barry then put his hands up and reiterated that the count was 2-2. Barry was not available for comment.
“In my mind, I was thinking it was 3-2,” Ramos said. “That’s OK. I received the walk any way.”
Even Nationals manager Matt Williams thought Ramos had walked a pitch earlier, but didn’t argue the count with Barry.
“You always say, ‘Were we right on the count,’ so we looked at each other and went, ‘Huh, I thought that was ball four.’ We have a lot going on over there, talking a lot about different situations, so we missed that one.”
During Ramos’ first at-bat in Saturday’s game, will the umpires make up for Friday and give Ramos a three-ball walk?
“I don’t think they are going to give that one to us,” Williams said. “I’ll ask him when I go up there [Saturday]. We’ll see.”
By Bill Ladson
NEW YORK — After catcher Wilson Ramos hurt his left wrist in Monday’s Opening Day game against the Mets, Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr went on FM 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday and revealed that Ramos’s left wrist problems date back to Spring Training.
According to Knorr, the injury first occurred in Jupiter, Fla., about a week ago. After a particular at-bat in Spring Training, Ramos went into the dugout and said, “My wrist feels funny.” But Ramos managed to be in the Opening Day lineup on Monday against the Mets and went 0-for-3.
In his final at-bat in the seventh inning, Ramos struck out looking and was immediately taken out of the game. He was replaced by Jose Lobaton, who could be the No. 1 catcher if Ramos goes on the disabled list.
“Yesterday we were watching that last at-bat he had, and he took a swing. It was like the second pitch he took a swing and fouled it off over the first-base dugout,” Knorr told The Sports Junkies. “I saw it and Rick Schu, our hitting coach, comes over and says, ‘Randy, you see that?’ I go, ‘Yeah.’ And then he takes a fastball down the middle.
“Now, Wilson Ramos has never taken a fastball down the middle, ever. So when he came in I said, ‘What’s going on with you, man?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right.’ So we took him out of the game.
“… For Wilson Ramos to come out of the game, it doesn’t look good. I always try to stay positive and say OK, go to the doctor, maybe it’s not as bad as people think it is, maybe it’s two or three days, and I try to stay that way, but in my mind and seeing guys over my career, it really doesn’t look good. It might be a hamate bone or something.”
Nats manager Matt Williams originally said that Ramos suffered a left hand injury. As of 6:30 p.m. ET, the Nationals have been quiet on the extent of the Ramos’ injury. If Ramos goes on the disabled list, they could call up catcher Sandy Leon, who was less than stellar in the Minors last year. Leon was one of the final players sent to Minor League camp this past Spring Training.
Andrew Simon contributed to this report.
By Andrew Simon
VIERA, Fla. — Thursday was a light day at Nationals camp, as the team gears up for the start of the Grapefruit League season, which begins on Friday against the Mets at Port St. Lucie. The main piece of action was batting practice on the field at Space Coast Stadium. Here are some notes and observations:
— As mentioned in today’s notebook on Nationals.com, manager Matt Williams and catcher Wilson Ramos got into a bit of friendly competition during Ramos’ BP rounds. Ramos whiffed on one early offering but got his revenge by crushing a few monstrous home runs, including two off the left-field scoreboard. After Ramos demolished his last pitch over the berm behind deep left-center field, Williams jokingly shouted, “Show-off!”
“He’s just big power. Big power,” Williams said. “He hits the ball the other way really good, too. So that’s why he’s so good at driving runs in because he stays through the middle of the diamond. Today he was letting it eat a little bit though. That’s good.”
— The workout was open to the public, and although only perhaps a few dozen people sat in the stands, one group serenaded center fielder Denard Span with “Happy Birthday” when he stepped into the cage for his first round of BP. Span turned 30 on Thursday.
— Some managers prefer to take their own cars to away games during Spring Training, but Williams will be taking the bus.
“I don’t think that I have authority to do that right now,” Williams said of going on his own. “One, I don’t know where I’m going. Two, we’re going to have talks on the way back. We’re going to need to put together lineups for the next day and stuff like that.”
Tomorrow: The Nats finally will face someone other than themselves when they square off against the Mets at 1:10 p.m. ET. Taylor Jordan will get the start, while Rafael Montero will go for New York. As Bill Ladson writes, it will be Williams’ first game as a big league manager, even if it’s only Spring Training.
Looking ahead: The club’s first game at Space Coast Stadium will be at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday against the Braves. They also will face the Marlins in Viera on Sunday at 1:05 before heading back on the road.
Worth noting: Williams said he plans to give his starters a couple of at-bats in Friday’s game. That group includes the likes of Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond.
Worth quoting: Williams on if he is nervous about the mechanics of managing a game — “No, it’s fine. That part of it, I’ve done before [in the Arizona Fall League]. Not at this level. The only thing I’m worried about or nervous about is trying to get everyone into the game. I want to look at everybody. So unfortunately that is almost impossible sometimes. But that’s the plan. But going out there and making a change, I’m not worried about that stuff.”
Further reading: In today’s notebook, there are items on Williams’ plan to keep Ramos healthy and fresh this season, the Nats’ catchers preparing for the new home-plate collision rule, and how reliever Erik Davis is progressing in his recovery from an elbow injury.
You can follow me on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter
WASHINGTON — After injuring his left hamstring for the third time this season on Tuesday night, Wilson Ramos was all smiles in the Nationals’ clubhouse on Wednesday. The strain was not as serious as the team feared, and Ramos said that he will only miss one or two games before returning to the lineup.
“[I’m] a little bit happy because it’s not too hurt,” Ramos said. “I felt a little bit yesterday sore in my hamstring but it’s not in the big part of the hamstring. It’s down in the hamstring, a little bit behind the knee.”
Ramos said that he felt the muscle tighten as soon as he left the batter’s box after hitting a ground ball in the fourth inning, but he knew right away that the strain wasn’t as bad as his previous tweaks. The 26-year-old said last month that he would not run full-speed on routine grounders, but when the ball deflected off pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s mitt, Ramos thought he could beat the throw to first.
“Next time for me, easy out,” Ramos said. “I’m not going to try to do too much, not anymore.”
Manager Davey Johnson said that is easier said than done.
“That’s easy to say, but as soon as you hits one where he thinks he’s got an infield hit, he’s going to go hard. That’s just human nature,” Johnson said. “I think it’s that first move coming out [of the batter’s box] that you’ve got to be careful with. Because you twist and then you’re jumping back.”
Ramos exited Tuesday’s game after the fourth inning, when the game was delayed for more than a hour because of rain. Had it not started raining, Ramos said that he likely would have tried to stay in the game.
“Thank God it was raining,” he said. “He took me out of the game.”
Ramos was left out of Wednesday’s lineup but could return on Thursday or Friday, when the team opens a three-game series in Atlanta. Johnson said that he wanted to see Ramos go through his normal pre-game routines before determining how many games the catcher would miss.
Despite Johnson’s concerns, Ramos said that he hopes to resume starting every day when he returns to the lineup. He said that the regularity has helped him get in a rhythm, both at the plate and behind it.
“I feel comfortable when I play every day,” Ramos said. “I feel strong, more consistent behind the plate or hitting. I saw the difference in this month. I threw a couple runners out. My arm feels good. I feel good behind the plate, calling games. I’m hitting well. I can see the difference when I play every day than every other day. That’s good for me. And hopefully I’ll be ready in two or three more days and then go keep playing like that.”
By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter
Trailing 4-2 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Pirates on Wednesday night, Wilson Ramos stood on first base. Denard Span hit a chopper to second baseman Neil Walker, and then things got interesting.
Walker lunged to tag Ramos, who appeared to shift out of the way, and then threw the ball to first base to complete the double play. Umpire Laz Diaz ruled that Walker had tagged Ramos, so the game was over. Video replays showed that Walker’s tag missed Ramos. Manager Davey Johnson went out to argue the call, but his efforts were unsuccessful.
Diaz was unavailable for comment after the game, but here’s what some of those involved had to say:
Ramos: “Not even close. He never tagged me. … I don’t know, maybe he want to go home.”
Span: “He didn’t tag him, from what I saw. Neil Walker charged the ball, tried to tag him, and when he didn’t tag him, you can even tell by the way his effort was to even throw it to first, he was just trying to get an out with me. It was not even close, and that’s too bad that Laz missed it.”
Johnson: “[Diaz] said he saw the tag. I said, ‘Were you in position to see the tag?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I saw it.’ … I asked Mike Winters, ‘How about you?’ He said, ‘I didn’t see it.’ Wasn’t in position.”
Ramos: “He told me, ‘He tagged you. I don’t hear, but I saw it.’ I said, ‘Sure, you didn’t see anything. Not even close.'”
Johnson: “It’s almost a guess play.”
Span: “It’s no secret that the ball definitely isn’t bouncing our way. That wasn’t the story of the game tonight, but anything could’ve happened if that play isn’t called there.”
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline coming up on July 31, general manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals’ top priority is getting outfielder Bryce Harper and catcher Wilson Ramos healthy and contributing to the offense, which is one of the lowest scoring in the Major Leagues.
Harper, who is on a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac, is expected to rejoin the Nationals next week against the Brewers. Ramos is close to a rehab assignment, according to manager Davey Johnson.
“We would like to see a big left-handed bat. His name is Harper and he is on the horizon,” Rizzo said. “And we would like to get a hitting catcher named Ramos. He is on the horizon. And [we really want to] gauge and see what a fully healthy lineup looks like. Two of our main cogs have been out for an extended period. We haven’t had our lineup together since April 14. So we are getting players more and more healthy.
“Hopefully, everyone will be healthy at the same time. We’ll see what the lineup can do when we have all our players playing and everyone is starting to hit on all cylinders — really gauge where we are at.”
With right-hander Dan Haren on the 15-day disabled list, will the Nationals look for another starting pitcher before the deadline? Rizzo said the right-hander has to get healthy first.
“First of all, we have to get him healthy and see where he is at and we’ll evaluate a healthy Dan Haren and make our decision from there,” Rizzo said. “Like any other part of the roster, we want to see him at 100 percent, and I would gauge where we are at from there.”