Ramos' bad injury luck continues, plus what may lie ahead

NEW YORK - Back in the early stages of 2012, the Nationals were excited about what Wilson Ramos might be able to do in his second full big league season.

Ramos played in just 25 games that year before suffering a devastating knee injury that left him with a torn ACL and meniscus.

Entering 2013, after months and months of tireless rehab, Ramos felt the knee was stable and strong, and said he was excited to get back on a big league diamond again.

The promising young catcher played in just six games to open the year before suffering a pulled hamstring, landing him on the 15-day disabled list. After working back from the injury and again expressing excitement at being back in a Nationals uniform, Ramos appeared in just seven games before he again pulled the hamstring, this time costing him more than six weeks on the DL.

Ramos finished the 2013 season with a bang, clubbing seven homers over his final 22 games, and then came into spring training feeling strong, healthy and optimistic about what could lie ahead in 2014. He had a monster spring, hitting .385, and manager Matt Williams was so impressed with Ramos' offensive potential that he wrote him into the cleanup spot in his opening day lineup.

Unfortunately, you know where this is going.

Just seven innings into the 2014 season, Ramos left yesterday's game against the Mets with an injury to his left hand. Williams said after yesterday's game that preliminary X-rays on the hand were negative, but Ramos is going to Baltimore today for a further examination by a hand specialist.

The Nats remain hopeful that Ramos won't be out for an extended period, but they'll have to wait and see what today's test results show, knowing that it's possible that they are again without their starting catcher for an extended period.

The poor guy just can't catch a break.

"It's unfortunate. I really feel for Wilson," infielder Danny Espinosa said. "He's had to battle through a couple tough injuries. Whatever happened, we hope for a quick return. I really feel for him. It's tough to have two or three years in a row where he's had some pretty bad injuries."

Bench coach Randy Knorr indicated in an interview on 106.7 The Fan this morning that Ramos may have injured his wrist a week ago in a Grapefruit League game, although it's unclear exactly when the injury first became a real issue.

All that really matters now is Ramos' health. It appears likely that the Nationals end up having to make a roster move because of this latest injury to Ramos, even if he will only be out a couple days. They can't go into Wednesday's game against the Mets with just one available catcher on the roster, so Jhonatan Solano (who was assigned to Triple-A Syracuse) or Sandy Leon (assigned to Double-A Harrisburg) could end up getting brought up by the time the Nats arrive at Citi Field tomorrow.

Yesterday's 9-7 win offered plenty of things to be excited about, but Ramos was on the minds of his teammates after the game.

"That's our brother," center fielder Denard Span said. "You never want to see one of your teammates hurt. All we can do is just pray and hope that everything is good and he has a clean bill of health. He's a huge part of our team. Hopefully he's not out for an extended period of time."

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