While it's certainly tough to see Wilson Ramos land on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring after all he's been through in the last couple of years, the Nationals don't believe Ramos will be on the DL for more than the required 15 days.
General manager Mike Rizzo said today that the Nats got positive news from an MRI taken on Ramos' hamstring and that doctors believe Ramos won't be out long term.
"We don't think it's too serious," Rizzo said, "but it's not something we want to push, that could linger on and become a long-term issue for him. We're thinking that once he gets off the DL, he should be ready to play for us."
Ramos suffered the hamstring injury while hustling down the line on a groundout in the eighth inning of the Nats' 3-1 loss to the Braves yesterday. He was replaced by Kurt Suzuki in the ninth.
It's been an up-and-down two years for Ramos, the 25-year-old catcher who was acquired by the Nationals in a 2010 trade with the Twins. Back in November 2011, Ramos was abducted near his home in Venezuela. He was rescued two days later.
Last May, Ramos tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee during a game against the Reds. He worked back from the injury and was behind the plate for the Nats on opening day, less than 11 months after suffering the injury. Now, after hitting .300 with two home runs and three RBIs through his first six games this season, Ramos lands on the DL again.
"It was disappointing," Rizzo said. "It's kind of like piling on almost. But I was happy that it was a mild hamstring instead of any kind of an knee issue."
The Nats feel they're fortunate in that they can now turn to Suzuki pretty much full-time with Ramos on the DL. Suzuki and Ramos have been alternating games thus far this season, but Suzuki will now get the vast majority of the playing time, with Jhonatan Solano, who was called up from Triple-A Syracuse today, backing up.
Suzuki is hitting .231 with one home run and three RBIs and a .444 on-base percentage through six games this season.
"It's a great situation to be in, that we have a No. 1 catcher - we feel he's a No. 1 catcher - to step in and play full-time when one of them goes down," Rizzo said. "It's a good feeling to have and that was a reason that we acquired him."
Because Ramos and Suzuki have been alternating games, each has been able to stay relatively fresh so far this season. Suzuki isn't sure exactly how manager Davey Johnson will handle the catching duties with Ramos out, but he's ready for whatever work is tossed at him.
"If Davey says I'm in, I'm in. If he says I'm gonna get a day off, I'll get a day," Suzuki said. "But he knows every day, he doesn't need to ask if I'm good. I'll be good to go."