The Washington Nationals officially placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the 15-day disabled list yesterday. Ramos had been battling a strained hamstring, and it was not healing without rest. According to the Nationals PR department, Jhonatan Solano was recalled to fill Ramos' spot on the 25-man rotation. Fortunately, Washington has Kurt Suzuki on the team, but how exactly will Ramos' injury impact the club?
Ramos and Suzuki had essentially been splitting time this season. The beauty of the setup they had in Washington was that both Ramos and Suzuki had been nearly equal on the field and at the plate. They could allow both to rest basically every other day if needed. Ramos has played six games this season, and Suzuki has played six games this season. Ramos has a .991 OPS, while Suzuki has a slightly higher 1.060 OPS. They are essentially interchangeable.
So with Ramos on the DL, the club can just lean on Suzuki, right? Not necessarily. With Suzuki easing into the season on an every other day basis, throwing him out there night in and night out could lead to fatigue or injury. If Suzuki is hurt, the Nationals would be in real trouble. What Ramos' injury means is that Solano will likely get some playing time - enough that fans and the front office can start to form a clearer picture of what the 27-year old has to offer.
Solano played in 12 games for the Nats last season. In that short stint, he hit .314/.351/.571 with two home runs. That's pretty much in line with the production the club has gotten out of Ramos and Suzuki so far this season.
Solano is an older player but he has plenty of time left on his service clock. Should the Nationals decide he is someone worth looking into, they could decide to trade Ramos or Suzuki in July. Teams are almost always in need of productive catching help. Suzuki is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, but he has a team option for 2014. He would be a much more likely candidate for a trade than Ramos who is pre-arbitration eligible.
So, in the end what does Ramos' injury mean? It could mean a higher likelihood of Suzuki being traded this summer. It all depends on Solano's production when he gets to play.
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script'); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
Looking for fantasy baseball advice?