- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Nationals notes: Wilson Ramos passes first post-surgery catching test
VIERA, Fla. — Wilson Ramos was a little scared. He was a little nervous. For all of the things he’s done in his life, all of the things he’s done in baseball, he may have done this more than anything. Still, he felt anxious.
He leaned on the fence at the Nationals’ spring training complex Thursday morning and watched four of the Nationals’ best pitchers throw their first bullpen sessions of the spring. He was merely an observer through the first round. He waited his turn.
When the horn blew, Ramos, wearing his catching gear for the first time since a wet May night that saw his season end writhing in pain behind the plate in Cincinnati, tapped his silver chest protector and stepped in.
“Woah!” pitching coach Steve McCatty bellowed from behind the bullpen mounds. “We’ve got the Tin Man back there.”
“It’s a long time since I’ve been behind the plate,” Ramos said. “So I was a little bit scared. But I didn’t feel any pain or sore. I felt excited to be behind the plate again.”
Ramos felt a little weakness in his right knee, the one in which the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus have been repaired, and he was nervous about how his first session squatting, and catching, and putting his knees on the ground would go. He still has a mental hurdle when it comes to blocking balls, but he knows he will have to steel himself and get over it eventually.
“He looked great,” said manager Davey Johnson. “Caught a couple bouncers. I just watched him and the reaction he had when he got through, and he was grinning from ear-to-ear. In talking to him, he said it was just a little bit weaker but no pain. Then he hit really good. Said it didn’t bother him at all swinging the bat. We’re just going to take it easy with him, but he should be fine.”
When Duke threw a few balls that bounced, Ramos fielded them with his glove instead of blocking them with his body the way he normally would’ve.
“I tried to make it easy on him,” Duke said. “Tried to hit the spots as much as possible, try to keep him from having to block too much, but he looked good.”
“Next time, I think I will block those balls,” Ramos said.
That was perhaps the best thing that came out of Ramos‘ first day back. He felt like he could do it again and again.
Ramos expects he’ll catch three or four more days straight. He will only catch one bullpen session per day right now, though, and work back up to catching two and three pitchers each day. Getting strong enough to return to game action will be another checkpoint.
“It was very fun to be back there,” Ramos said. “I was with my guys, working with them. I was [going] crazy to start playing again. Now I put my gear on, and I’m very happy for that. It was great to put it on. Now I feel like I’m on the team again. I’m back.”
Soriano delayed by visa issue
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By Tammy Bruce
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again