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.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.