Ramos out for season with torn ACL
The Nationals’ World Series hopes took a serious blow Tuesday when All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Ramos will miss the playoffs, taking one of the most consistent power bats out of the Nationals’ lineup. He was having his best season with career highs in hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, runs scored, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.
“There’s never an opportune time,” manager Dusty Baker said. “This was the most inopportune time for this to happen.”
Baker told Ramos, whom he described as “upbeat,” that other athletes have come back from tearing an ACL twice in the same knee. Ramos, who was hurt Monday night when he landed awkwardly while catching a relay throw, had two surgeries in 2012 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament.
The National League East champions will go with a combination of Pedro Severino and Jose Lobaton behind the plate in Ramos’ absence. They called up Spencer Kieboom as a third catcher earlier Tuesday.
Replacing Ramos’ offense is Baker’s biggest concern.
“I told him, ‘Hey man, you and Daniel Murphy carried us to this point,’ ” Baker said. “Now it’s up to some of the other guys to take us to the next level.”
Murphy is dealing with a strained glute and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper has a left thumb injury. Baker expects Harper back this week and figures Murphy will be ready by Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers on Oct. 7.
The Nationals are also unlikely to have pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the first round, and perhaps beyond, due to a strained flexor mass in his right elbow.