Skip to content

Ramos pushing for Opening Day nod

Mar 28, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Associated Press
Wilson Ramos watches his second homer of Wednesday's game fly over the fence.

VIERA, Fla. — He'd already passed every other test presented to him this spring — catching his first bullpen session, serving as designated hitter in a game, blocking pitches in the dirt, sliding into bases without putting his surgically repaired knee in danger, starting a game behind the plate and ultimately playing a full game back there — so the only hurdle left for Wilson Ramos to cross was connecting for his first home run since he tore his ACL last May.

Ramos managed to knock down that final barrier yesterday, lofting a solo homer to right in the third inning of the Nationals' 11-2 exhibition win over the Braves. Then he knocked it down again one inning later, crushing a three-run homer to deep left-center.

It was a triumphant way for Ramos to finish off his spring, one that proved far more encouraging than even his most ardent supporters could have predicted.

"Every action, he has looks perfect to me," manager Davey Johnson said. "Blocking balls, the speed with which he picked it up, it's even better than it was last year [before he got hurt]."Read more »

  1. 320R2S15 - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    I will be dissapointed if they give the nod to Ramos. I realize how well he has done this spring, and how hard he has worked but the Nats should give the opener to Kurt as a reward for his efforts of last year. If Ramos continues to show well he will get the job in the end. Right now I see it as fairly even and I hope Kurt gets to start the opener.

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    And I will be disappointed if Ramos isn't given the nod. Wilson Ramos was the starting catcher prior to his devastating injury. Kurt Suzuki was a mid season pick up that proved to be a valuable replacement.Wilson Ramos has returned not only with a completely rehabilitated knee in remarkably rapid fashion, he has also returned with a completely rehabilitated body and looks to be in the best shape of anyone on the roster.Starting Wilson on opening day would send the message throughout the organization that adherence to rehab regimen coupled with a dedication to complete fitness will always return you to the starting lineup.And as both Suzuki and Ramos now know that Nats and Davey regard them both as starting catchers, this would place Suzuki in line to catch game 2 with Gio on the mound.

  3. MicheleS - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I wouldn't have believed Wilson would be ready to catch after what happened last season, but after seeing him in person last week, he looks phenomenal. I understand the angst on who should start and as deserving as Zuk is, I think Wilson should get it.

  4. Rabbit34 - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I think Suzuki appreciates and understands that Ramos should move back into the starting roll. Yes, Suzuki understands he was picked up to substitute for the Nats starter, not because we didn't have one. Our starter was just injured.

  5. sjm308 - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    I am with Rabbit on this one. I think with Ramos' age and culture, it will mean more to him to start that opening day game and Suzuki has been around long enough to know just what is going on. He is a veteran who honestly had lost his starting job with the A's as they went younger and cheaper and I think he understands what a great team he landed with. He did a great job last year and I was one of his early supporters. I still like him a bunch but you can only start one. I think this gets everyone off in a positive position.

  6. baseballswami - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    I am in the Ramos camp. he was here first and was the plan for the future. After the kidnapping and the injury, what a treat to see him healthy and performing well.

  7. Sam - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Whatever happened to Ramos catching two days in a row? Or did we give up on that barrier?

  8. JayB - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    If Nats pitchers have not learned how to hold on a runner and reduce their time to the plate from the stretch it will not matter if Johnny Bench in his prime is catching.Njack….have they looked any better this spring on holding runners on (in Drew's case just knowing runs are on would be an improvement) and slid stepping or something that improves their time to the the plate?What have you seen?

  9. NatsJim - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I have said before I'm a Suzuki guy, just like his game and loved his clutch performance down the stretch, but I think Wilson should be rewarded for his remarkable comeback with the opening day start. He deserves it, and I'm pretty sure Zuke will understand. As NatsJack said that also has the fortuitous effect of lining him up to catch Gio in game 2.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    JayB…. I've seen a better job from the starters but, unfortuneately, not much improvement from the relievers.True that Storen is utilizing a slide step but it's an extremely slow slide step.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Sam… the 2 days in a row was in the course of building up to 9 innings. It proved unnecessary. Ramos's stamina is excellent.

  12. 320R2S15 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    looks like I am an army of one…Ok I understand I just don't agree. Ramos now gets it and he now has a better head for keeping his potential and future intact. I just can't get past the reason he was hurt in the first place. The other thing is, I would be most dissapointed in Kurt if he somehow "understood" Ramos starting in front of him.

  13. 3on2out - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    From The "What Do I Know Department":When Ramos initially went down with a torn ACL I was concerned it might be a career ending injury. After all, knees are SO critical to catching. Later on this winter, it appeared he would be coming back but I thought he would be eased in gradually…to accomodate his repaired knee and to wait for the weather to warm up. I was sure Suzuki would catch the bulk of April…and particularly opening day. What is that? Oh for four? With that kind of performance I think I am slated for Harrisburg.

  14. Mac - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Suzuki has a 2014 option that vests if he starts something like 113 games. He has known all along that the only way that will happen is if Ramos can't come back from the injury. Davey and Rizzo know that too. Now that it's apparent that Ramos is back better than ever, everyone knows that this season will be Suzuki's last in Washington. With that knowledge, Davey will not rub it in Suzuki's face. He'll give Suzuki the opening day start as a sign of respect. Ramos can catch Gio in game 2, because as the main catcher he'll be doing that a lot in the future. Might as well start getting familiar right away.Look for Suzuki to be the Pudge Rodriguez of 2013. The Ramos lovers are going to be seeing Suzuki in the lineup a lot and will complain about it every time, just like they used to complain when Pudge was starting.

  15. NatsLady - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I'm in the minority also. I'd like to see Suzuki start opening day, and I don't know if I'm persuaded by the argument that it would "mean more" to Ramos, or that it's a reward for his successful rehab. Another thing that puts me in mind of Suzuki is him catching Stras and Ramos catching Gio for the next game, on the theory of no favorite catchers. Of course, if there is no rainout, there is an off-day on Tuesday, so Ramos could catch both games. But I'd like to see the 50-50 established right away, as that gives the team max flexibility for the long season.

  16. NatsJim - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    320, why did he get hurt in the first place? Because JZ buried a fastball in the dirt? If you're suggesting it was his weight, you have zero proof that had anything to do with the injury – perfectly fit wide receivers and running backs tear ACLs all the time. He took a bad step and the knee buckled – that 's it, that's the story.And if you don't think Kurt or any other teammate doesn't understand and appreciate someone being rewarded for their incredibly hard work to return from a potentially career ending injury, then you go right on being disappointed – it's just one game even if it is opening day, Wilson deserves the reward.

  17. Joe Seamhead - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Somebody sits. Suzuki did a great job last year, but a guy shouldn't lose his starter status from injury unless the replacement really outperforms him. Daley is masterful at keeping everyone involved. They'll both play, but Ross deserves the opener, IMHO. As to H-Rod, unlike many here, I have been reluctant to give up on him, up to now. Now, I really feel it's unfair to the other 24 guys on the roster. As good as his raw talent might be, right now he is only good enough to lose with. It's a dog eat dog world,pal,and you have chewed yourself up and spit yourself out. Maybe he'll be a late bloomer, but this club is not the time and place to wait for him anymore.

  18. 320R2S15 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Thanks Dr. NatsJim. I guess you told me.

  19. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    My gripe about Ramos was that prior to his injury he was El Gordo, not The Buffalo. I only got to see him once on TV until last Saturday and I agree he has slimmed down significantly (a lot) and that his running (not "speed") had improved over my previous viewing earlier in ST. Two HRs, even against MiLB pitchers, speak for themselves. I'm not necessarily in favor of designated catchers but in this case both are very capable. Unless Ramos ole!s a bunch of Strasburg change-ups I have no problem w/ Suzuki catching Gonzalez and, perhaps, Haren, whose array of pitches might benefit from a receiver with more experience.

  20. NatsJim - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    You were the one playing doctor 320 – I simply pointed out you have nothing to substantiate your opinion, if in fact that's what you were suggesting.

  21. Nats1924 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    im torn between both Suzuki and RamosIve been a Ramos fan from the beginning and ultimately he is the better Catcher.But, Suzuki played well and calls a helluva game. Which rewarding him by starting opening day is not a bad idea.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Wilson Ramos is here long-term and Zuk probably will be here short-term if Ramos proves to be back to 2011 form.I don't think Zuk is pushing for Opening Day while Ramos is. I think if Ramos doesn't get the Opening Day nod it will be demotivating.If you base it on Spring results, Ramos has put up the more impressive numbers.Ramos has proved a lot of his doubters wrong before and the next step is for Wilson to prove he can be a top catcher in 2013.

  23. NatsJim - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. NatsJim - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    The posting gremlins ate Ghost's post, so my response made no sense out of context…Anyway, here's hoping they both have healthy and productive seasons – I'd be fine with the 50-50 split in playing time to keep them both fresh.

  25. baseballswami - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Catching is grueling. Ramos can become a better pitch caller from Suzuki. Ramos has a big bat. Suzuki can get Ramos through the season with his new knee . Lots of win- win here. I see them both feeling crucial to the team.

  26. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I think they have 2, count 'em, 2, MLB starting catchers, who might combine to hit .300. I'm feeling pretty good about that. Ramos still has to be the starter long-term, because he's younger and hits better. Suzuki is a smart guy–he can count.

  27. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Ramos gets the nod if Rizzo asked for my vote. besides Davey has said both will be catching 50/50 to begin the season so it is not like they are demoting Suzuki or anything.

  28. mick - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    So SI has picked Nats to win WS. Is this a good or bad, lol?

  29. mick - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    I think Suzuki and Ramos can compliment each other by staying fresh. Davey has solid depth at catcher

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And I will be disappointed if Ramos isn't given the nod. Wilson Ramos was the starting catcher prior to his devastating injury. Kurt Suzuki was a mid season pick up that proved to be a valuable replacement.Wilson Ramos has returned not only with a completely rehabilitated knee in remarkably rapid fashion, he has also returned with a completely rehabilitated body and looks to be in the best shape of anyone on the roster.Starting Wilson on opening day would send the message throughout the organization that adherence to rehab regimen coupled with a dedication to complete fitness will always return you to the starting lineup.And as both Suzuki and Ramos now know that Nats and Davey regard them both as starting catchers, this would place Suzuki in line to catch game 2 with Gio on the mound. March 28, 2013 7:03 AM Well said and I would add to that I don't think Zuk expects to be the starter for Opening Day while you can take Ramos comments as a possible sign that if he didn't start Opening Day as a demotivating factor.If you go strictly by who has had the better Spring, I would give that edge to Ramos and add to that NatsJack's comments about being an injured starter.Then you have the future of the team, I don't think Suzuki will be back next year on current terms as I don't see the team picking up his team option of $8,500,000.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    mick said… I think Suzuki and Ramos can compliment each other by staying fresh. Davey has solid depth at catcher March 28, 2013 9:42 AM In the end, that's the most important thing! TEAM strength!

  32. Avar - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I have to go w/ the minority here and vote for Suzuki. Their offensive production was very similar last year and Suzuki calls a better game. And that's no accident, Suzuki is famous for how hard he works on scouting hitters vs. his pitchers. I don't think there is any question that Ramos' lack of conditioning contributed to his injury and limited his performance before it. I want to see him stay in shape all season. And I also want to see him learn from Suzuki's dedication to calling games. I have yet to read anything that says Ramos is trying to close that gap. That's the next step for him.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    NatsJim said… The posting gremlins ate Ghost's post, so my response made no sense out of context…Anyway, here's hoping they both have healthy and productive seasons – I'd be fine with the 50-50 split in playing time to keep them both fresh. March 28, 2013 9:24 AM Yah, I had to re-post. A lot of good posts while I was re-posting. Baseballswami and SecSofa all with great points.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    And to add to Sec3, My Sofa, I said yesterday to the people around me that I expect 25 home runs out of the catchers position. 18 – 20 from Wilson and 5 – 7 from Suzuki.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Avar said… I have to go w/ the minority here and vote for Suzuki. Their offensive production was very similar last year and Suzuki calls a better game. And that's no accident, Suzuki is famous for how hard he works on scouting hitters vs. his pitchers.That's your opinion and I don't agree just based on what NatsJack talked about with "preferences" which is how I see it but I guess that's just my opinion too. While I think Suzuki has a reputation as a great defender, Ramos learned under the best catcher in the game "Pudge" and also got to be behind "Mauer".He also has what they call a big target and that's a physical thing based on his size.I really believe that Ramos is destined to be a great one!

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Another note from yesterday.Prior to the game, Ryan Zimmerman spent 10 minutes playing catch from about 120' with Ian Desmond in shallow right field. Ryan threw overhand, 3/4 arm, side arm and his famous submarine syle almost equally for the 50 or so throws that were made, all on the money to Ian.I'm convinced his shoulder issue is fixed. Now he has to convince me it's not in his head.

  37. EmDash - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    I think that, even if Ramos's weight/conditioning did contribute to his injury, it's hard to blame him under the circumstances – being kidnapped and held hostage is a lot to mentally recover from, after all. That he was able to start the season at all is kind of remarkable.

  38. Bobby Kuyak - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    We have two starting catchers. Not many teams can say that. The depth at catcher we showed last year was seriously impressive! I think Ramos can be great and to think we traded Matt Capps for him. Suzuki wouldn't be here if Ramos (and Flores) was never injured. Suzuki catches Gio real well being former teammates so that is an advantage. I just don't think Suzuki can touch Ramos in batting and Ramos has a gun behind the plate. Love Suzuki though best back up in the league by far!

  39. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    With all respect to GSM, Ramos's performance on defense last Spring pre-injury showed few signs of benefiting from Pudge's tutelage, and Mauer has never been known as an Anglo-Saxon Molina. There is hope that the new, more-svelte Ramos will flag down a few more baseballs. And, if he hits as well as NJack predicts, that is enough to give him the edge. Both catchers need more help from the pitching staff w/ runners on base.

  40. Mac - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    It's not in his head. In a radio interview I heard recently, Zimmerman said that his problem last year was that due to the injury and cortisone shot, he knew what his body needed to do to make the throw but he had no way of knowing what would happen when he tried to tell his body to do it. It's easy to see why the resultant uncertainty in his motions would look to the casual observer like he had the yips. Now that he's healed, he can direct his body to do something and know that it will happen the way he wants it to. Any apparent uncertainty this spring has been because he's still building up strength in the shoulder. That has apparently happened now, so he's good to go and he knows it.

  41. TimDz - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    As far as who starts behind the dish on opening day, I look at this in more of a practical sense…Gio feels very comfortable with Suzuki…Gio is pitching the second game of the season…I don't see Davey starting the same catcher for the first two games, and since Gio is really comfortable with Suzuki, I think Ramos starts opening day and Suzuki gets the next start…

  42. Mac - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    "Ramos has a gun behind the plate."His gun wasn't very effective in stopping base stealers last year before he got hurt. The catching staff's CS % was abysmal until they picked up Suzuki. Let's see how effective Ramos's gun is now that he's healed before we start piling accolades on him.

  43. Avar - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I guess Ghosts and I disagree. Although we agree that Ramos will turn out very well.I know he was around some great catchers but in my opinion that did not help his defense or pitch calling last year. They were weak. My opinion.Catchers don't have to be great pitch callers to succeed, it's just another advantage they can bring and Suzuki brings that one in spades.

  44. John C. - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Like Ghost, I'm mystified by the allegation that Suzuki calls a better game than Ramos. I'd be interested in knowing what that statement was based on. I'm also dubious of the claims that this or that pitcher prefers one catcher or the other. I do remember seeing quotes from Suzuki last summer that he was already familiar with Gio from having caught him in Oakland, but that's not to say that Gio was or is more comfortable pitching to Suzuki. My Mark I eyeball says that Suzuki is better at one aspect of catching than Ramos was (fielding throws from the field to home plate). I feel that is offset by the fact that, when healthy, Ramos is a much more dangerous power threat. So there is no wrong answer in my mind. Concerns about Ramos or Suzuki being insulted, demotivated or whatever are incredibly overblown. These players are professionals and would be more inclined to take perceived slights as motivation than sulking. It's like the LoD from last year constantly predicting a mental collapse by the team. They're much tougher than they get credit for.I just want the season to start, dangit!

  45. sm13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    I agree with Sofa, there is no wrong answer to this question. We have two starting-caliber catchers on the 25 man roster — that, once again, is a sign of how far this franchise has come and how deep a roster Rizzo has assembled. We'll have ample opportunities to cheer for Zook and Buffalo!GO NATS!!

  46. UNTERP - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    On the "Zook and Buffalo" note: I love everyone. I love HRod too. When people weren't loving Desmond, I was loving him, so I'll love HRod just not as tight…

  47. JamesFan - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Suzuki earned the starting job by his performance last season. He was terrific. Let him start on Monay. Work Ramos in over the season. There is no rush to bring Ramos back from a terrrible injury despite his enthusiasm.

  48. DaveBinMD - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    NatsJack said: "he has also returned with a completely rehabilitated body and looks to be in the best shape of anyone on the roster"I'll grant you that Ramos might be in the best shape he's been in since he came to DC (he couldn't have got much worse than the shape he was in early last year), but let's be realistic, he's not in better shape than a beefed-up Harper or Bernadina, who almost looks like a competition-class bodybuilder.

  49. sm13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I'd like to love Henry, I've tried to love Henry, but Henry does not give enough love back. I hope we find a way to stash him in AAA so he can get his mechanics/head figured out.

  50. John C. - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Mac said…Ramos has a gun behind the plate."His gun wasn't very effective in stopping base stealers last year before he got hurt. The catching staff's CS % was abysmal until they picked up Suzuki. Let's see how effective Ramos's gun is now that he's healed before we start piling accolades on him. March 28, 2013 10:21 AMI highly recommend looking stuff up before you make a claim. It didn't matter what catcher was behind the plate last year, the staff as a whole was terrible at holding runners. League average CS%: 27%. Ramos was well below that, with a CS% of only 17%. Flores was worse; he only threw out 15%. Suzuki? 15%.I don't hold either primarily responsible, mind you. But results show that when Suzuki arrived he couldn't move the needle back to where it was when Ramos was behind the dish.

  51. Avar - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I agree w/ everyone who says we can't lose here. Both are excellent.As for John C's question about pitch calling. I am going on articles that have talked about Suzuki being particularly dedicated to scouting how his pitchers can attack specific hitters. The pitchers have indicated he was good at that and that it helped them. I've never heard anything along those lines at all about Ramos.For example Haren wants to come inside on righties this year and Zimmermann wants to add that changeup. I think Suzuki's scouting efforts will help them implement those changes were Ramos will just be neutral in that way. Not so much a criticism of Ramos as a praise of Suzuki.

  52. Section 222 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    I said several days ago that I thought Zook would likely start but that wasn't a preference. They are both good catchers. (Ramos may someday be great, but he sure isn't yet.) I just hope Davey selects the O.D. catcher not to reward anyone, and certainly not because of pitcher preferences (which, like John C., I'm still dubious about), but because it gives us the best chance for a win, and a winning season. And if there are no actual baseball reasons for the choice, he knows, and we don't, who ought to get the nod for sentimental or emotional or whatever other factor might come into play.

  53. EmDash - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    For whether Ramos or Suzuki is better at holding runners – that's kind of a push, which is really more on our pitching staff, I think.Ramos: 19 stolen bases to 4 caught stealing for a CS% of 17%.Suzuki: 28 stolen bases to 5 caught stealing for a CS% of 15%.Suzuki's CS% in Oakland was 38%, incidentally, so given that all Nats catchers had similar results (Flores was at 15% too), I don't think that we can really tell how good the catchers would be at this if the pitchers did their parts.Also, lineup posted on Twitter includes Bernadina but no Werth. I guess he's resting his elbow? Harper's going to be playing, though.

  54. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Pudge was a 4-6-3 machine in his last years, but stolen bases were not the problem when he was here. Something he was doing was helping.

  55. Section 222 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Sofa, I wonder if some of Pudge's effect on stolen bases was his reputation. Anyone want to look up how much other teams ran on the Nats during that era, compared to today. Now we're known, with good reason, as a team you can run on.

  56. mvcarroll - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Hello all, long time reader, first time poster. If anyone going to the exhibition tomorrow in DC wants to grab me a magnet or two that I could pick up at another game, I would be willing to trade a beer or a hotdog. Maybe send a message my way on Twitter, @BigCat_Mike (not the *other* BigCat that posts here…). Thanks.

  57. Dryw Loves the Nats - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I love the "problems" we have this spring!!

  58. sm13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Few catchers in modern baseball have had a rocket arm like Pudge. He could make up for slow deliveries and pitchers who "forget" to hold runners. Even above-average arms can't help our current staff unless they work on thier moves to first and to home.

  59. Candide - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Dryw Loves the Nats said…I love the "problems" we have this spring!!Seems like just yesterday that Boswell wrote a column about how the Nats were inviting anyone with a pulse to ST to find out if they could pitch.Now are "problems" are:1) Henry2) Ramos or Suz? 3) Pitchers holding base runners4) Is Zimm really over his arm problems?5) Too much talent sitting on the bench or in Harrisburg.Have I missed anything?And is there any team that wouldn't love to trade their problems for these?

  60. Tcostant - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    So one of the most under reported stories of the offseason is that the Nationals have move to dynamic pricing for some games, similar to what the SF Giants did last year. Supply and demand sets the price leading up to games (although I doubt they get cheaper than face value). I urge each of you to go to the Nationals website as they just released additional opening day tickets, but look at the prices and note this note there (“Sections and pricing subject to day-of-game and market-based demand pricing changes.”)Here is a sampling of current prices:$105.00 Home/Visitor Infield Box $90.00 LF/RF Baseline Box $100.00 Infield Club $100.00 1st/3rd Base Club $65.00 LF/RF MezzanineI thought this was interesting enough to pass along.

  61. TimDz - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I think last year's problems were more a function of the pitcher's inability to hold the runners on and their predictable cadence from the set position to their motion…Of course, that's just my opinion. You regular NI's can just ignore me and chat amongst yourselves…

  62. NCNatsie - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    EmDash escapes owing John C a cybercoke by adding the revealing statistic that Zuke's CS number in Oakland was 38%. In other words, A's pitchers were twice as good at holding runners as ours. Same cathcer. Same distance to second base. NatsJack reports no significant advances in that department during ST. I wonder why. Are we overrating the problem. Have Davy and McCatty tried to do something about it and failed? Have the pitchers simply decided they are good enough to keep so many runners off base in the first place they can get away with it. Or is it something they just aren't genetically good at.Any of you talented analysts got the answers?

  63. JayB - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Njack is correct….Zimms throwing was a problem long before his shoulder issue. It is very much a mental block exasperated by the shoulder but it was always there when he had time to think and double and triple clutch.

  64. NatsLady - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Candide–only one lefty in the bullpen. :)

  65. sm13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Candide: Our manager is on a one-year contract – I seem to remember that being a problem in the past!

  66. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    "Few catchers in modern baseball have had a rocket arm like Pudge."At least during his last year here, and maybe earlier, "Pudge" was accused of calling too many fastballs because he wanted to keep his CS pct. up. For a lot of pitchers, e.g., Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Clippard, the curve/slider/change is the "out" or "swing and miss" pitch. That is going to adversely affect the CS pct., unless the pitcher is also focusing on keeping runners on. If Nats pitchers continue to ignore runners the way they did last year there won't be much improvement in CS, if any.

  67. Avar - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Greg Maddux was also terrible at holding runners on 1st.

  68. sm13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Isn't a fastball thrown to Pudge who throws runner out at second an "out pitch"??

  69. NatsLady - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Gave up on my computer, will take it to the shop to get the data on an external drive and buy a new one. In the meantime, I was able to use my laptop to put up a post about Monday's game. If you want anything added, or have questions, well, y'know, comments!Opening Dayhttp://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/03/who-are-these-fishy-guys.html

  70. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    "For a lot of pitchers, e.g., Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Clippard, the curve/slider/change is the "out" or "swing and miss" pitch. That is going to adversely affect the CS pct., unless the pitcher is also focusing on keeping runners on."Just speculating here, but I can imagine a conversation on the mound something along the lines of this:Pitcher: Why are you calling all fastballs?Pudge: Because the guy you just put on first is about to go to second, and I want to throw him out.Pitcher: You can't just call a pitch for the runner on–there's a hitter up there, and I can get him out with a change-up.Pudge: Fine. You hold the runner close enough that he can't walk into second, and then you throw the changeup. Until then, an out's an out.Now have fun, g-d it. It's a game–it's supposed to be fun.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… With all respect to GSM, Ramos's performance on defense last Spring pre-injury showed few signs of benefiting from Pudge's tutelage, and Mauer has never been known as an Anglo-Saxon Molina. There is hope that the new, more-svelte Ramos will flag down a few more baseballs. And, if he hits as well as NJack predicts, that is enough to give him the edge. Both catchers need more help from the pitching staff w/ runners on base. March 28, 2013 10:16 AM What Ramos learned from Mauer was using his stature as a big target which pitchers love but then you have the contrast of the small catcher like Pudge who taught Ramos the finer points of framing, pitch calling, and setting the target.Like I said, there's a very good chance that this will be Suzuki's last year with the Nats unless he renegotiates the $8.5 million 2014 team option.

  72. NCNatsie - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Sofa, you left out the line where the pitcher says, "If you'd've let me throw my slider, the freaking' runner wouldn't be on first!"

  73. pk24 - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    OT: Cactus League Game. Went to a ST game yesterday (Giants vs D-Backs) at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick complex in Scottsdale. The complex is shared by the D-Backs and Rockies. It is beautiful facility – 15 baseball diamonds plus an 11,000 seat capacity stadium. Hopefully the Nats will end up with an equally nice ST facility some day……

  74. sm13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Thanks or the post NatsLady. Confirms two things for me: Nolasco gives us fits and Strasburg (and the rest of the staff) should never, ever give Stanton anything to hit.

  75. baseballswami - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Here is my answer to holding runners. Don't let anyone get on base. Boom! There you go. Ok- realistically, some of our relievers really have not had a lot of practice holding runners on because they don 't let a lot of hitters reach base. When they were still pretty new- ish, it only made sense to have them concentrate on the hitters. How often have we seen a pitcher get caught up with a base runner and lose the hitter? It's a balancing act and a refinement.

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    A couple of takeaways from the post is that most feel that the Nats are very fortunate to have 2 excellent catchers and I would agree.Again, you have to consider the future that Suzuki is due a ton of cash next year and probably won't be back and you have to remember that in how the catcher position will play out ultimately.

  77. Section 222 - Mar 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Njack is correct….Zimms throwing was a problem long before his shoulder issue.If anyone doubts this, check out my post from March 12. Lots of evidence that throwing has long been an issue for Zim.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 1.0
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter