The Nationals are holding their collective breath after seeing Wilson Ramos land awkwardly on a play at the plate. The big catcher was helped off of the field with an apparent right leg injury.
It’s far too soon to know whether the injury is a serious one, but it comes at an awful time for player and team. Washington is preparing for a postseason run in early October, while Ramos is not only playing to help the team but also to set up his free agent market after the year.
Washington is not particularly well-equipped to deal with any missed time from Ramos, who has carried a big load this year. Switch-hitting reserve Jose Lobaton has taken just 104 plate appearances, with a decent but unexciting .220/.317/.363 slash. Intriguing prospect Pedro Severino has shown well in his 11 game stint, but his Triple-A numbers don’t suggest that he’s ready for a regular role.
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Ramos has already logged 130 games for the Nats entering tonight’s action. He has been nothing short of outstanding, finally realizing his talent fully. In 520 plate appearances, Ramos owns a .307/.354/.497 slash with 22 long balls.
That output has Ramos primed to hit the open market with a chance to take his pick from a wide variety of suitors. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently ranked him fifth in earning power among pending free agents, with Ramos standing out as the top catcher available.