Buster Posey’s season was cut short last May due to a major leg injury, and now another talented young catcher has experienced the same unfortunate fate a year later.
Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee Saturday against the Reds when he twisted it oddly while chasing down a wild pitch. He’ll undergo season-ending surgery soon, and although the Nationals haven’t officially ruled him out for the remainder of the season, he’ll almost surely be unable to return.
It’s a blow to the now second-place Nationals, as Ramos is considered a good defensive catcher who is valued for his ability to handle a staff. He was also hitting .265/.354/.398 with three homers after a .267/.334/.445 batting line with 15 bombs last year.
Ramos’ replacement behind the dish will be Jesus Flores, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI Sunday. Flores has some pop in his bat, having put up a 20-homer season in the minors and putting eight over the boards in 90 games for the Nats back in 2008. He’s also had numerous injury issues, and the average likely isn’t going to help you, but he’s a viable replacement for those that were left with a hole at catcher following Ramos’ injury.
Fuentes Takes Over the Ninth
Grant Balfour might not like it, but he’ll be moved to a setup role for a while.
A’s manager Bob Melvin announced that Brian Fuentes would be taking over for the struggling Balfour in the ninth inning. He picked up his second save of the season Saturday and the four-time All-Star is having a nice year, having posted a 3.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 12/2 K/BB ratio over 14 innings.
Of course, Fuentes hasn’t been able to hold on to the closer job the last couple times it’s been handed to him, and it’s clear his best days are behind him. Balfour, who told Melvin he was “pissed” about the demotion, will reportedly get a chance to win the job back eventually, but obviously Fuentes is worth scooping up in all formats as long as he’s calling the ninth inning home. Ryan Cook, who has yet to give up a run this season, might be the best bet for saves in Oakland over the long haul.
Des to DL?
When Desmond Jennings sprained his left knee on May 6, the Rays called it a day-to-day injury and felt the talented young outfielder would be back in action in a couple days. Initially, they looked like they’d be right, as Jennings experienced improvement the first few days after the injury. But, he’s since then hit a wall.
"We really thought it wasn't going to be a normal 15-day situation, so that's why we refrained from the DL," manager Joe Maddon said in the Tampa Bay Times. "We've got to stay on top of it because we are not seeing great progress. We're not seeing regress or progress. We're still seeing pretty much the same feeling on a day-to-day basis. We were expecting a little bit more progress by now."
Maddon now won’t rule out a DL move, saying a decision on Jennings will need to be made soon. If he does have to be disabled, he’ll be out until at least May 27, as he’s made a few pinch-hitting appearances since the initial injury. The Rays will continue to mix and match with Matt Joyce and Brandon Guyer in left field until Jennings is ready.
National League Quick Hits: The Mets are expected to make an aggressive push to sign David Wright to an extension, and an offer could come as soon as this summer. It’s no surprise that they’re apprehensive about losing him after Jose Reyes bolted last winter … Frank Francisco blew his second straight save Sunday and now holds an 8.56 ERA and 1.98 WHIP on the year, prompting Mets manager Terry Collins to consider a change at closer. We’re betting he goes with Jon Rauch … Matt Kemp will get an MRI on his tender left hamstring. He says he won’t go on the DL but admits that he might miss some games … Lance Berkman (calf) was activated from the disabled list Sunday and returned to the lineup for the Cardinals. He missed 20 games … Buster Posey’s surgically-repaired leg feels “a little cranky,” according to Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Bochy isn’t concerned, but they won’t push their star catcher … Joaquin Arias has been named the starting third baseman for San Francisco until Pablo Sandoval (hand) returns in about a month. Arias is an unappealing fantasy option … Ruben Tejada (quad) has yet to be cleared to resume baseball-related activities. He’s eligible to be activated from the DL on May 22, but he will not be ready by then. Ronny Cedeno will continue to handle shortstop for the Mets … Jorge De La Rosa had to exit his rehab outing Saturday after one inning due to forearm tightness. The Rockies are saying it was a precaution, and it doesn’t sound like De La Rosa’s rehab schedule will be affected … Stephen Drew (ankle) was able to perform sliding drills for the first time since his season-ending injury last July. It was the last baseball-related activity Drew had yet to perform. He’s nearing a rehab assignment … Dale Thayer nailed down his third straight save chance Saturday and is looking like the man to own in the Padres bullpen until Huston Street (lat) returns … Chris Carpenter (shoulder) could start a throwing program by mid-June. He won’t return before the All-Star break … Henry Rodriguez blew his third save of the season and second in his last four chances Sunday. He should still keep the job until Drew Storen (elbow) returns, which could be in less than a month … The man that hung the blown save on Rodriguez was Joey Votto, who blasted a walk-off grand slam, one of three longballs he had on the day.
American League Quick Hits: Danny Duffy left Sunday’s start in the first inning with what’s being described as medial left elbow tightness. The young left-hander had a start skipped late last month due to an elbow issue, and this issue is considered similar. He’ll have an MRI Monday … Kevin Youkilis (back) has been cleared to resume hitting. Youkilis is unlikely to need a rehab assignment, but he won’t be activated until later in the week … The Twins are considering moving Brian Duensing into the rotation. They know he’s better suited for the bullpen, but they’re running out of options to fill out their starting five … Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Sunday, which means he can’t return until at least June 13. He probably wasn’t going to be ready before then, anyway … Andy Pettitte was up and down Sunday in his first major league outing since 2010. He didn’t allow a hit for the first three innings, but he wound up giving up four runs on a couple homers and three walks. Fantasy owners should give Pettitte a few starts to get his feet wet before sticking him into their lineups … Carl Pavano had a precautionary MRI on his shoulder, which revealed only inflammation. Although he doesn’t have anything structurally wrong, his range of motion and velocity have been affected, which obviously compromises his results. He’ll make his next start but get a cortisone shot if the pain persists … Brandon McCarthy struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings Saturday. He had his previous outing pushed back due to a sore shoulder, but it appears that he’ll be fine … Mark Melancon has spun 10 scoreless innings while boasting an 18/0 K/BB ratio since his demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. It’s not clear when he’ll be recalled, but he certainly seems ready … Andrew Bailey (thumb) hopes to be cleared to resume throwing during an exam this week. Boston hopes to get their closer back sometime around the All-Star break.