Apr 3, 2013, 9:37 PM EDT
|Photo by USA Today|
Nationals manager Davey Johnson gave catcher Wilson Ramos the honor of starting Opening Day this week as a reward for his recovery from surgery on the ACL in his right knee last season. In picking Ramos, Johnson left Kurt Suzuki to watch from the dugout on Monday after being the team’s starting catcher through last year’s pennant race and playoff series.
Johnson said he will alternate the two backstops every other game, at least in the beginning of the season. It is a situation both catchers have accepted, despite believing they are each capable of being everyday guys.
“It is what it is, you can’t make it into a bigger deal,” Suzuki said. “Both of us deserve to play every day, Ramos is a great number one catcher. I think we team up well together, we can both complement each other really well. To keep us both healthy for the full season is what is most important. It’s important for us to help the team win ballgames.”
Johnson said who catches each game will not depend on the pitcher or matchups necessarily. He told Ramos and Suzuki to be ready to catch anyone on the staff as a rotation of five pitchers will keep them alternating battery mates.
“I told them they are just going to alternate early on,” he said. “That’s a tribute because I like them both, they’re both great catchers, they both handle the staff very well, both bring a lot to the table.”
“That will get more difficult as the season goes on too.”
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NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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.
Full season schedule
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.
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