Wilson Ramos' bad luck continued Monday, the opening day of the 2014 season, after the Washington Nationals made him the cleanup hitter against the New York Mets. Ramos reportedly injured a bone in his left hand and was taken out after going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. First reports do not say how the injury happened. The Washington Post reports that Nats manager Matt Williams said initial X-rays did not show a break, but... :
With Ramos gone for an undetermined period, Jose Lobaton takes over as the first-string catcher.
Over the past two seasons, Ramos has played a combined 103 games — undergoing knee surgery in 2012 and sustaining two hamstring strains in 2013. Just three days ago, reporter James Wagner of the Washington Post wrote about how Ramos said prayers that he'd be healthy in 2014. He also took action in earthly ways by strengthening his legs with new exercises and reverting to old diets that weren't designed only for weight loss. Ramos, 26, was preparing like he never had before.
“It’s been hard with all the injuries I’ve had but at no moment did I ever lower my head,” he said in Spanish at his locker at Space Coast Stadium. “I’ve always kept it up and worked hard to get here. If God lets it happen, this will be the year I’ll be behind the plate all season. I’m hoping it is.”
Ramos has had a rough ride from the physical toll baseball takes. He survived a kidnapping in his home country of Venezuela in 2011. He won't have a season without incident in 2014.
An injured hand is not the end of the season, though it certainly might affect Ramos's power once he returns. The Nationals are a deep team and can compensate, but they went 48-29 with a 3.26 ERA as a staff a season ago with Ramos behind the plate. He hit 16 home runs with 59 RBIs despite playing in just 78 games. This is a big injury for them. At least it's only April, so there's plenty of time for Ramos to return and contribute.
If he has any luck.
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