UPDATE: Not so fast, apparently. Nationals manager Matt Williams just told Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com that X-rays on Ramos’ injured hand came back negative, which contradicts Wagner’s earlier report of a fracture. However, he’ll go for a second opinion from a hand specialist.
Wilson Ramos’ bad injury luck continues, as James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals catcher exited the season opener with a broken bone in his left hand.
Washington made catching depth a priority during the offseason, adding several low-cost veterans before later acquiring Jose Lobaton from the Rays. No word yet on how long Ramos is expected to be sidelined, but Lobaton figures to take over as the primary backstop.
Ramos missed all of 2012 with a knee injury and was limited to 78 games last season with hamstring problems. In between all the injuries he’s been very good, hitting .270 with a .770 OPS through age 25.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.