LOS ANGELES — Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has a somewhat unique problem when it comes to his catching corps. Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki are too good to sit on the bench for several days in a row, but he wants both of them to feel like everyday players.
In an attempt to do so, Johnson is going to try to play his catchers more in consecutive games going forward.
“I’m going to try to to get more than just every-other day,” Johnson said Monday, when he started Kurt Suzuki for the second straight game. “I’ll probably do (Ramos) the next two or three days. It’s a difficult situation just to try to get some guys more in the swing of things.”
The Nationals began the season alternating Suzuki and Ramos at the position, every-other day. When Ramos did a stint on the disabled list for a strained hamstring, Suzuki caught all but one game. Since Ramos has returned, both have caught back-to-back games once.
The slight change now, Johnson said, has more to do with how the catchers are playing and hitting than it does who they are catching.
However, Suzuki has caught the last seven starts by Jordan Zimmermann, and five of Gio Gonzalez’s eight, while Ramos seems to be getting into a good groove with Dan Haren and Stephen Strasburg has a 1.44 ERA when throwing to him, as opposed to a 5.19 ERA with Suzuki.
“I’m not trying to put one catcher with one pitcher,” Johnson said. “But I’m going to try to have more multiple days for each of them to play so they can get into a rhythm.
“I know there’s a certain rhythm you get into as an everyday player. Both of those guys are used to playing everyday. So I’m going to try to get more semblance of that. They’re both catching very well.”
Entering Tuesday’s game, Suzuki was hitting .241 and Ramos was hitting .233 on the season.
“When you play, sometimes the more at-bats you get consistently, the better you feel about your hitting,” Johnson said. “Both of them call great games and handle pitching staffs real well. So it’s not about that. Two very good players.”