Via James Wagner and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:
Nationals catcher and opening day cleanup hitter Wilson Ramos will likely undergo hamate bone surgery on his left hand Wednesday morning, according to multiple people familiar with situation. The procedure would sideline the Nationals’ bedrock catcher for more than a month and affect him once he returns.
The Nationals haven’t confirmed that the surgery is happening yet because Ramos is seeing specialist Kenneth Means in Baltimore on Wednesday for a second opinion. But it’s pretty much a given that the talented 26-year-old backstop will have to go under the knife.
Ramos has some of the best batted ball distance in MLB and he slugged 16 home runs in just 78 games last season. Hamate bone injuries are notorious for sapping power from baseball players, even post-surgery.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.