Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Harrisburg, reports Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com.
Ramos, who landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a strained left hamstring, was able to run the bases and take batting practice this afternoon. He’s expected to catch three innings tomorrow and play again on Saturday, which likely sets him up to be activated for Monday’s series opener against the Braves in Atlanta.
Ramos was hitting .300 (6-for-20) with two home runs and three RBI in six games prior to the injury. The Nationals are still easing him back in after he was limited to 25 games last season due to knee surgery, so he will split catching duties with Kurt Suzuki upon his return.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.