Just a couple of hours after the Nationals announced that they had signed veteran catcher Chris Snyder to a minor league contract yesterday, a deal that provides even more depth should Wilson Ramos’ surgically repaired right knee not allow him to be ready opening day, Ramos sent out a couple tweets.
One of the tweets, written in Spanish, roughly translates to the following: “Almost green-lighted to enter action, thank you my God.”
No, I didn’t translate that myself. The Internet helped. My middle school Spanish classes are a long ways in the past.
Ramos then sent another message thanking fans for all their support during his recovery.
As I briefly mentioned yesterday, the Nationals hope to have Ramos on the 25-man roster to start the regular season. They’d love to see him slowly progress as spring training goes on, working a couple innings in Grapefruit League games at first and then get to the point that he can catch nearly a full game by the time camp breaks.
That would allow him to open the season as the backup to Kurt Suzuki and possibly get two starts a week. Once Ramos has proven that he’s completely healthy and is able to get his timing back at the plate, then the Nats can entertain the idea of having him return to the starting catching job, assuming Suzuki isn’t lighting the league on fire.
Again, that’s all just a rough plan right now. First comes Ramos showing that he can crouch for multiple-inning stints and have full movement behind the plate. For a guy who blew out his ACL and meniscus last season, that won’t be any easy task.
It’s a good sign that Ramos has progressed in his rehab to the point that he’ll have a shot to participate in drills early in camp. He won’t be rushed the first couple weeks after reporting to spring training, and then it’ll just be a question of health and production.
Meanwhile, many of you might have seen the Yahoo! Sports report late yesterday afternoon that Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun’s name was listed in records obtained from Biogenesis, the anti-aging clinic that was reportedly dealing various performance-enhancing drugs to major league players.
Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone levels in 2011, but his appeal of the result was upheld after there were questions raised about how his sample was handled.
Braun is the latest of a number of major league stars that have been linked to Biogenesis in some way, but like Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who was connected to Biogenesis last week, Braun claims he has never had any relationship with the clinic or Anthony Bosch, who allegedly was providing the players with PEDs.
A statement released by Braun says that his attorneys used Bosch as a consultant when preparing for his appeal last year, and that he has nothing to hide in regards to any allegations of a relationship with Bosch.
If true (and who knows what is true and what isn’t), this seems to provide a bit of support for Gonzalez, who has released a statement claiming his innocence.
It’s impossible at this early stage in the investigation into Biogenesis to connect one player’s case to another. We just don’t know enough hard information at this point, and neither does Major League Baseball, which is why they’ve requested to see the records obtained by the Miami New Times that initially broke this story open.
But if Braun is telling the truth that he didn’t know or interact with Bosch and isn’t connected to any wrongdoing in regards to Biogenesis, it would seem to strengthen similar statements made by Gonzalez, who could be up for a 50-game suspension if connected to the purchase or use of PEDs.