Expected to miss 4-8 weeks following April 2 hamate bone surgery, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos declared himself “ready to go” while in Washington to take batting practice today.
Ramos told James Wagner of the Washington Post that he hopes to be in the lineup tomorrow, which would be his first game action since Opening Day.
Ramos has had horrible injury luck early in his career, so hopefully he can rejoin the Nationals and stay problem-free for a while. At age 26 he’s hit .269 with 35 homers and a .767 OPS through 239 career games, showing some of the best offensive potential of any catcher in the league. Hamate injuries often lead to decreased power initially, though, which is Ramos’ main calling card as a hitter.
Jose Lobaton and Sandy Leon have split time fairly evenly in Ramos’ absence without producing much. Lobaton figures to stick around as the backup.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.