Manager Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals looks on as catcher Wilson Ramos is helped off the field after suffering an injury against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
It was a busy weekend around MLB infirmary...
- One of the most compelling, unnerving, and ultimately thankful story lines this Winter was the kidnapping of young Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos in Venezuela. The 24-year-old spent 48 hours with his captors before ultimately being freed. He was having a good year - hitting .265/.354/.398 - until Saturday, when Ramos twisted his knee awkwardly while chasing a passed ball. The twisted knee was actually a torn ACL, and his season is now over. The Nats will now hand catching duties to back-up Jesus Flores, and one of their better catching prospects, 23-year-old Sandy Leon. Leon has played just 23 games above High A ball.
- Ramos' injury wasn't the only notable injury this weekend. Mark Reynolds is headed to the DL with a strained oblique. The Reds put Scott Rolen on the DL with a strained left shoulder. The A's put Yoenis Cespedes on the DL with a left hand strain(though the injury actually dates back to earlier in the week). Bryce Harper isn't headed to the DL, but he did get injured. More on that in a bit.
- And then there's Matt Kemp, whose left hamstring has been giving him trouble, even as he battles Josh Hamilton for the tag of "best player in baseball" (with apologies to Kemp, I'd say Hamilton has pulled into a healthy lead). The hamstring flared up yesterday, and now Kemp's status for the coming days is uncertain. He'll get an MRI today, and everyone acknowledges he's going to need some time off. But Kemp says he's not going to the DL. "It's been a little bit scary, not knowing how my hamstring would hold up," said Kemp. "I think I just need to let it heal for a little bit. I don't know how much time that's going to take. I'll see how it feels later on tonight and tomorrow, and we'll go from there. But I'm definitely not going on the DL. That's not going to happen. The team needs me. I don't think this is a 15-day thing. I think it's maybe two or three days. I know how my body is. I'm a pretty fast healer."
- Justin Verlander has now gone an amazing 50 straight starts of at least six innings. That's the sixth longest such streak in the last 50 years.
- Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton each hit walk-off grand slams yesterday to propel the Reds and Marlins to victories.
- Ah, yes. Bryce Harper. The feisty phenom wasn't too pleased with his 0-5 performance Friday night, and took a bat to the clubhouse wall. The wall won, and the result made Harper look like a lovesick vampire: