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Ramos ramping up workload

Feb 18, 2013, 10:14 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Wilson Ramos caught two bullpen sessions during this morning's workout.

VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals would like to bring Wilson Ramos along slowly this spring, giving the rehabbing catcher ample time to get his body back into full game shape following ACL surgery.

Ramos, though, continues to push for a heavier workload, and today the Nationals acquiesced. For the first time since he injured his right knee last May, he caught two bullpen sessions, while also taking a full round of batting practice and other drills alongside his catching counterparts.

"He did a lot today," general manager Mike Rizzo said.

Ramos had previously only caught one bullpen session per day, but this morning he squatted behind the plate for both Dan Haren and Ryan Perry. He also blocked pitches in the dirt, a key hurdle he said he wanted to overcome after injuring himself on such a play lastRead more »

  1. John C. - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    FWIW, IIRC he didn't injure himself blocking a ball in the dirt; he injured himself picking up a rolling baseball that had gotten past him. Either way, very glad to have Ramos on the road to 100%!

  2. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    John C.: You're correct, the actual injury occurred as he was trying to track down a ball in the dirt that got away from him. But he views that all as one act, and the blocking of a bad pitch is the toughest test for his knee.

  3. Tony - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    N.B. "No. 1 catcher Kurt Suzuki"

  4. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Okay, so I'm behind in my reading but the following passage from a WaPo piece was pretty darn funny. Think maybe the kid was pulling the reporter's leg? :-)Tucked in the corner opposite from Zimmerman sat Zach Walters, a shortstop in his first major league spring training. Walters, 23, will spend the season in the minors. For one Sunday, he could call the men around him — Werth, Ian Desmond, Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, all of them — his teammates."I don’t think I’ll ever get over that," Walters said. "Because I’m some young punk, I see them on TV and I’m like, 'These guys are bigger than life.' Then I see them in real life, they’re right in front of me. I think the biggest thing is Werth’s beard. I need it. I want it."

  5. MicheleS - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    BUFFALO!! Go get em Wilson!!!! Have a healthy year.

  6. baseballswami - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    I hope Ramos catches JZim most of the time. Jordan and Suzuki just never really seemed to click. It got better after the first few starts , and maybe spring training will put them on the same page. JZ pitches like he has a train to catch and lots of signs and shakes throw off his pace.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Swami….I seem to remember a pretty solid relief appearance by Jordan that Suzuki caught.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Baseballswami, I'm with you on the JZim/Ramos, but keep in mind that Davey says he doesn't believe in set battery mates.If you believe the stats in small sample sizes, JZim definitely needs to be with Ramos.I ran numbers on all the battery mates and knew that was a biggie and I think Gio/Suzuki was a better match and Strasburg/Ramos.It will be interesting to see if any patterns take place.

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130218&content_id=41755672&vkey=news_was&c_id=wasGood Dan Haren article. Its written by Joey Nowak. Never heard of him, but this is a good article.Great quotes from Adam LaRoche on Haren.

  10. baseballswami - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    NatsJack- thanks for reminding me of that relief appearance- it makes me smile. Things were better by then, obviously.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    That was my favorite 1 inning pitching performance of the season.

  12. SCNatsFan - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    To those who have seen him, is Wilson thinner? The pictures look like he has lost weight.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    SCNats Fan…..yes…..that's all we've raved about was then lean, mean catching machine that is Wilson Ramos.

  14. MicheleS - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Ghost.. Boz has an article up on WaPo about Haren too.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    MicheleS, I will search for that. NatsJack, greatest by JZim was that immaculate 9 pitch inning for 3 strikeouts. One of the rarest accomplishments in baseball.That inning of relief in Game 4 was as over-powering as I have ever seen him.Joe Magrane on MLB Network today picked JZim as his best NL pitcher for 2013 based on him perfecting his changeup.

  16. TimDz - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    My recollection of Ramos' injury was more of a freak accident than anything else…it was a rainy day and he seemed to catch a cleat…Does anyone else remember this or am I on an island here?

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Thanks Michele. That was a good read although some of those Haren quotes were already used by Mark and some other writers. This was interesting from Boswell: Since Haren’s locker is between Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, and because he is a master of getting high strikeout counts (223 one season) by “setting up hitters” and “expanding the zone” — something the young Nats haven’t mastered, it’s assumed that Haren may be a coach in disguise.“I’m a guy they can turn to when they aren’t going great. But I’m not ‘mentoring’ Stephen Strasburg. It looks like he’s got it down pretty good.”Not sure what to think since Rizzo I thought had used the term veteran mentor to the young arms, but then again Haren only said he wasn't mentoring Strasburg possibly because he is so close to all the tools.Like DeRosa and Werth who have mentored and always talking to the youngsters like a friendly coach, I had also assumed as Boz put it "it’s assumed that Haren may be a coach in disguise".

  18. baseballswami - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    When our pitchers "expand the zone" — we all jump on them for " nibbling".

  19. SCNatsFan - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Thanks natsjack

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14559141&topic_id=8878754&c_id=wasTimDZ, it was amazing given the magnitude of the Playoff game and I loved that video but that was the 7-8-9 batters including (Kozma) vs. the May 6, 2011 immaculate inning of 9 straight strikes (3 K's) and that started with Mike Stanton to Dobbs to Buck.Cool stat on immaculate innings. 3 pitchers have done it twice: Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, and Nolan Ryan. All 3 are in the Hall of Fame. I hope Jordan Zimmermann can throw another immaculate inning!

  21. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Swami: I have to give you credit for putting stuff out there. In the last post you talked about Soriano operating on his own set of rules (which is silly) and now you are suggesting that Suzuki does not work well with JZimmnn because the first few times were not spectacular. A catcher comes to a new team in a new league with new pitchers he has never caught before and the "chemistry" has to be perfect right away? Seriously, Zimmnn will be fine with whoever is behind the plate and Suzuki will be fine with whoever is on the mound. Pitchers don't need special catchers, it just isn't happening.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    sjm, what you said is sort of what Davey said about battery mates, but there are pitchers that work better with certain catchers.JZim and Ramos work well together. Can Suzuki and JZim work better together? Sure. They didn't have a lot of time to get acclimated.

  23. baseballswami - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    SJM– just having a Devil's Advocate kind of a day I guess. Tomorrow will be better and full of blind faith and Natitude. Everyone just seems to be making things out to be so perfect. Seems a bit too good to be true. I am truly excited about the team. Just being picky. And I am not usually generous with new- ish guys. But it sounds like Haren is good:). Oh – Sean Burnett is having back issues. Is Rizzo clairvoyant?

  24. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Swami: if you want to feel a little better about Soriano's day, read the piece on MASN by Kolko. Might be more fluff than we get from Mark but its very positive. Soriano asked to have Suzuki in his session and it comes across with no issues at all.Ghost: I get that certain catchers frame pitches or dig balls out of the dirt better than others but the "designated catcher" thing really bothers me. These guys are pros and it really should not matter.

  25. NCNatsie - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Sean Burnett is having back issues. Is Rizzo clairvoyant?————-Yes.

  26. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    I am honestly not trying to get Peric fired up but I just read a really good article by Jason Stark on the # if strikeouts projected for the Braves and how they will miss Prado a bunch. Peric talks about the loss of power from Morse to Span and it is obvious that is true. What he has never mentioned is how many strikeouts Morse contributed and how few Span has averaged in his years with the Twins. Is that a big deal? We stuck out a ton last year and one of our huge strikeout guys in now in the AL. If Danny can cut back and Span does what he does, that is probably around 200 less strikeouts for this team. That has to amount to something. Waiting for those with actual knowledge to tell me I am wrong.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    sjm, you are right, and Davey was very clear last year when Strasburg and Flores weren't on the same page and Davey said he doesn't match up pitchers with catchers.

  28. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Thanks Ghost, I thought I had read that as well.

  29. NatsLady - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    Burnett had back issues when he was here. He "managed" them. Doesn't take clairvoyance, but that, along with elbow chips and being thirty probably decided Rizzo against offering him a two-year contract.

  30. baseballswami - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    We really need some actual , live baseball games.

  31. SCNatsFan - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    There was a really good article saying no one knows more about a pitcher then his current GM and if he lets a pitcher leave then he has a reason. The performance of those players pales in comparison to those who resign. Burnett's issues may speak to this… just as it may speak to Haren's issues.

  32. Section 222 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    308, I'm totally with you on saying No to the personal catcher stuff, and Davey has said as much. Frankly, it's an insult to our catchers to blame a pitcher's bad performance on them, and an insult to our pitchers to give a catcher credit for a good pitching performance. Zuki and Ramos are pros, and Znn, Gio amd the rest of the pitching staff will do just fine with either of them.

  33. sjm308 - Feb 19, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    222: amen – I hated when Suzuki came over and people started jumping on his "relationship" with Zimmermann. When you think about moving to a different league in the middle of a season, catcher has to be the most difficult position to make that move. Not only does he have to learn his own staff which he probably has not seen a bunch of, but he has to learn the batters from the other teams and still try and figure out his own offensive situation.

  34. SonnyG10 - Feb 19, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Good points on a catcher's needs when switching from one league to the other. They indeed do have to pick up a lot quickly.

  35. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Mike DiGiovanna‏ @MikeDiGiovannaMRI on #Angels LHP Sean Burnett (back stiffness) normal, listed as day to day, but he'll undergo more tests with a back specialist Tuesday.

  36. Gonat - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    SonnyG10 said… Good points on a catcher's needs when switching from one league to the other. They indeed do have to pick up a lot quickly. February 18, 2013 11:46 PM _________________________________Learning new players on the fly while also learning 11 new pitchers (already knew Gio) is a daunting task.

  37. Tcostant - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I like to see sessions everyday of him catching thrown balls from the OF. Catching those are his biggest weakness.

  38. The Fox - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    It would be very difficult to have personal catchers if Suzuki and Ramos actually split time behind the plate. Day games following a night game and rain outs would complicate this. Usually when there is a personal catcher they are the back-up and they catch one specific pitcher. The only time I'm in favor of this is when you have a knuckle-ball pitcher. Bob Uecker was actually a pretty good receiver and was used almost exclusively with Knuckle-ball pitchers. I always liked his quote "The way to catch a knuckle-ball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up."

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