Nationals call up 22-year-old catching prospect Wilson Ramos

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Wilson Ramos has hit .317/.349/.483 in 15 games at Triple-A since going from Minnesota to Washington in last month’s trade for Matt Capps, and now the Nationals have called up the 22-year-old catcher while Wil Nieves is away from the team to be with his pregnant wife.
Ramos was all but guaranteed to get a September call-up, so this will merely give him a little more opportunity to impress with an eye toward potentially making the Opening Day roster next season. Ivan Rodriguez is under contract for $3 million in 2011, but he’s 38 years old and has hit just .236/.255/.292 with one homer over the past 50 games.
Meanwhile, Capps blew a one-run lead last night before Jim Thome’s walk-off homer and is 4-for-6 converting saves since the trade.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.