Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez with about two posts per week until Spring Training. Enjoy.
Boy, did Wilson Ramos ever have a trying year? Between being kidnapped in his native Venezuela last winter and a torn ACL just 25 games into the season, it’s a year that the Nationals’ starting catcher will never forget.
The only question now: Is Ramos still the team’s starting backstop? With the addition of Kurt Suzuki, who has another year on his deal, it’s certainly a valid question to ask. It’s not a mortal lock that Ramos will be 100% healthy going into the 2013 season. All indications are that he should be close to it, but there are no guarantees in injury recover.
He did have a solid season in the 25 games he played before sustaining his ACL injury, sporting a .265/.354/.398 slash line and a 0.6 WAR. Over a 162 game season, that would average out to a 3.9 WAR. If that was the case, only three Nats players would have had a better WAR: Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman. That’s good company.
His competition, Kurt Suzuki, is due a lot more money than Ramos next year, and he had a playoff season to work with the best pitching staff in baseball. Ramos may be the long-term solution for the Nats, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the short-term one.
Next year: I suspect that Suzuki will be named the Nats’ Opening Day 2013 starting catcher. The Nats may veil it with Ramos’ recovery, but Suzuki’s performance from August through the postseason speaks for itself. As the season rolls on, if Ramos is 100% healthy and Suzuki is struggling, I imagine we’ll see Ramos return to his starting role again. If either of those to things aren’t true, expect Ramos to work one to two days a week as long as Suzuki is on the roster and healthy.
Next up: #6 César Izturis