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.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.