Less than a week after he was abducted in front of his home in Valencia, Venezuela, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos returned to the field Tuesday, working out with the Tigres de Aragua, the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League team he was planning to play with this winter.
Ramos has said he wants to play winter ball in Venezuela despite the incident, to thank the fans in his native country for their support during his abduction and to get the offseason work in he was planning all along. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has said he wants to get Ramos to Washington for a full physical after the kidnapping, but doesn’t plan to prevent the 24-year-old from playing Venezuela.
“That’s how they grew up,” Rizzo said in an interview this week. “They grew up watching Venezuelan baseball, and they want to participate in that. We’re certainly not going to tell them they can’t participate, but we’ll take the steps to ensure they’re secure.”
The catcher finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year vote this week after batting .267 with 15 homers and 52 RBI in his first full year in the majors.