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Wilson Ramos called up, available today [UPDATED]

Catcher Wilson Ramos, the highly regarded prospect the Nationals acquired from the Minnesota Twins for closer Matt Capps, has joined the Nationals for tonight's game in Atlanta. Ramos landed at about 4:15 p.m. and took batting practice with the Nationals before chatting with reporters.

Backup catcher Wil Nieves will tend to his pregnant wife, Yormarie, who is expected to give birth tonight or tomorrow. The Nationals expect Nieves to return Friday, at which point Ramos would likely be sent to Syracuse until September 1, when rosters expand.

Ramos, who will wear No. 3, could make his first start tomorrow, Manager Jim Riggleman said, which would Ivan Rodriguez a day game off following a night game. "I'd like to see him," Riggleman said.

Since arriving from the Twins' Class AAA affiliate, Ramos has hit .317 with a .349 on-base percentage, a .483 slugging percentage and two home runs in 63 plate appearances for Class AAA Syracuse.

This is Ramos's second tour in the majors. In May, Ramos played seven games with the Twins, going 8 for 27. Ramos went 4 for 5 in his first game and 3 for 4 in his second. When he returned to Class AAA Rochester, it offered a harsh reminder of how hard it would be to find playing time in the same organization as Joe Mauer.

"When Minnesota sent me to Triple A, I was a little bit down," Ramos said. "I know I can play in the big leagues. But when I got traded, I was a little bit excited. I know I've got more opportunity with this team."

Ramos, who turned 23 on Aug. 10, was rated the No. 58 prospect in baseball before the season by Baseball America. This winter he was named MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League. That's no joke -- the league includes dozens of big leaguers, including Pablo Sandoval, Omar Infante, Martin Prado and Elvis Andrus.

Ramos is known an elite defensive catcher with excellent power potential. "Big power to the opposite field," said Nationals first base coach Dan Radison, who coaches in the Venezuelan league in the winter.

"Everybody likes how I catch, how I throw," Ramos said. "Not everybody likes how I hit. I know I can hit, but I like more catcher."

Ramos sat on a dugout bench, feeling a little like his first time in the majors all over again. He felt more focused, less nervous, because he'd been here before. He may have been most thrilled about meeting Ivan Rodriguez, his idol growing up. He had not met him yet, but couldn't wait.

"I'm very excited," Ramos said, and surely so many fans back in Washington felt the same about watching him for the first time.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 18, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

Another step in the turnaround! I hope Wilson kicks butt!

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 18, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What's the corresponding move to make Ramos available? Does Nieves go on something equivalent to the bereavement list?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope both Ramos and Nieves have great weeks

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 18, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Willingham off, Ramos on?
When Nyjer comes back, Ramos then off, back in September?

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

What's the corresponding move to make Ramos available? Does Nieves go on something equivalent to the bereavement list?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse
*********************************************

It might even be called "bereavement list". I know that other players across MLB have gone on the list for a short time to deal with personal issues. For many, it is the birth of a child or other family issue. He'll likely go back down when Nieves comes back and then return on September 1.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | August 18, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Raspberries... Based on what the Post had been reporting re: Ramos's debut, presumably from a high-ranking source within the Nats org, I had bought tickets to the first game after Sept 1 to see his debut. I demand retribution and a refund!

Posted by: -CN- | August 18, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Why would we want Nieves back? The only thing he is consistent in, is being bad. Give Ramos a chance.

Posted by: dominic10464 | August 18, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

How long will it take for Ramos to become the object of someone's righteous indignation? This long: it's just a matter of time.

Posted by: fpcsteve | August 18, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Seriously though, I'm looking forward to watching this kid play. Hopefully he can catch closer to 3 games per week. This allows Pudge to only catch two consec games, as opposed to the standard three consec game set he had been accustomed to.

Posted by: -CN- | August 18, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff! I hope he does well. Can't wait to see Espinosa as well

Posted by: thedc_kid | August 18, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I suspect we might see Ramos in the starting lineup tomorrow with it being a day game after a night game, even though Pudge got an unexpected night off yesterday.

Posted by: slopitchtom | August 18, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

-CN-

Good one.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 18, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Cheer up, CN. You can catch it when they distribute the Ramos debut CD later this season. What?

Okay, seriously. A big DC welcome to Ramos.

---

Raspberries... Based on what the Post had been reporting re: Ramos's debut, presumably from a high-ranking source within the Nats org, I had bought tickets to the first game after Sept 1 to see his debut. I demand retribution and a refund!

Posted by: -CN- | August 18, 2010 3:28 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 18, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

+1 for -CN-

Posted by: Kev29 | August 18, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought it might be in poor taste to tell Nieves to take his time...but wish his family all the best!

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 18, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the show, Wilson! Welcome to an org that doesn't have possibly 10+ years of Joe Mauer ahead of you.

Truly an excellent trade for the Nats, considering Capps wasn't saving much for us and gone at the end of the year.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 18, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Another thought -- that was a good way to let Wil take off a few days on a good note! 3 for 3 and a surprise day at the "office" is a good feeling to have while you take care of family business.

The insecurity about his back-up role going forward (post September)? Not so much. He'll catch on somewhere though.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 18, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Hoping for the best for both Wils.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The saga of the catchers parade we've had here over the past few years is truly bizarre when you think about it...

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | August 18, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The saga of the catchers parade we've had here over the past few years is truly bizarre when you think about it...

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | August 18, 2010 5:30 PM

Yeah, but strangely not lacking in the talent department (no I am not going to say anything bad about Wil Nieves here). Pudge, Flores, now Ramos - and Brian Schneider. We've had some decent backstops. Of course, that's a position that you can fill rather cheaply in Major League Baseball.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 18, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

[A somber-faced man in a dark suit walks on smoking a cigarette]
Picture a day in the life of one Wilson Abraham Ramos, a catcher in the Washington Nationals organization. Having a major obstacle to his career recently shifted, his luck was starting to turn, or so it must have seemed at the time. But what he hadn't counted on was the one turn nobody expects--the turn from unlikely, to the truly bizzare. Wilson Ramos is about to face some nasty breaking pitches from ... The Twilight Zone.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Paul "Capt. R.A." Lo Duca. Johnny Estrada. Matt LeCroy. Gary Bennett (who later got punched out by his own pitcher, iirc). Does Robert Fick count?
*****************
Yeah, but strangely not lacking in the talent department (no I am not going to say anything bad about Wil Nieves here). Pudge, Flores, now Ramos - and Brian Schneider. We've had some decent backstops. Of course, that's a position that you can fill rather cheaply in Major League Baseball.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 18, 2010 5:36 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

How could forget Josh Bard!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

With Willingham going on the IR and the club likely headed to an 90 loss season, no time like the present to see what's in the cupboard for 2011.

The club has already been doing that with Ian Desmond and has been taking its lumps along the way in 2010. Washington could have won 3 or 4 games where a Desmond error ended up making the difference after 9 innings.

But those are the growing pains you put up with when you know the team isn't going to be competitive for a playoff position in any event.

That's one reason it's good that Guzman was traded. It's not that Washington received overwhelming value for him, but rather that his absence opened up a spot for someone else to play and be evaluated for the last 4-6 weeks of the season.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | August 18, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Bard, I saw the other day where he'd hit his first career grand slam.

I believe it was Michael Barrett, a former Expo who mentored Schneider with the Expos, who got into it with C. Zambrano (and, in another event, decked A.J. Pierzynski).

Leave us not forget the catcher who made Frank cry, Matt LeCroy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 18, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I did like the Rod Serling impression, though. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 18, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, game and match. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 18, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

New blood at catcher! And he can hit!

Posted by: M20832 | August 18, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you had LeCroy. D'oh!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 18, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

[RF] yes, he does!

===

Does Robert Fick count?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 18, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Weep not for Wil Nieves. Baseball-reference.com reports his salary as $445,000 last year, $700,000 this year. How many of you guys and gals had career earnings of $1.8 million by the time you were 32? No, he's not in Ryan Howard territory, but let's keep some perspective here: he should have no financial worries for the rest of his life, if he's managed his money well. I'm sure you can buy a lot of house in Condado, Puerto Rico on a small fraction of just one year of his salary.

And all that having been said, I wish him a long, healthy career (and an even longer happy fatherhood); I've always enjoyed watching him catch.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 18, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Ramos, who will wear No. 3..."

Did Flores change his number? Or is this just this further confirmation that Jesus's career is over (with the Nats at least)?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 18, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

And I-Roid is still starting? This dude Ramos is a stud. He's their catcher. Getting him for Capps (who blew another save last night btw) was like getting the number 4 or 5 pick in the draft except he's ready now!!! I hate Riggleman and the way this organization does things. Play him and tell I-Roid to sit down and congrats to Nieves and send him down.

Posted by: Dog11 | August 18, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Kevin told me that Flores changed his number to 26 in spring training this year. That's what he's listed under in the 2010 media guide.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 18, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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