|Bad timing: Wilson Ramos will not only miss the playoffs,|
he'll enter free agency in need of knee reconstruction.
Ramos sustained a torn knee ligament Monday. He's out for the playoffs, another blow to the Washington Nationals' postseason ambitions. It's also really bad timing for Ramos personally; he's going into free agency not as, finally, the All-Star catcher he had been projected to become but with a knee in need of reconstruction.
Ramos has played six full seasons with the Nationals. This was only his second season with more than 400 at-bats, his third with more than 100 games. He has averaged 94 games a year since 2011. Durability has not been among his attributes, and that tendency showed during his minor league development as well.
The Twins traded him during the 2010 season for Matt Capps. The deal was widely criticized; Ramos was clearly the organization's top minor league prospect, and Capps, while a solid reliever at the time, was not touched with greatness.
But the trade was understandable. Bill Smith, then the Twins general manager, made the deal to win now, and Capps deepened the Minnesota bullpen and helped win the division title. It's not his fault that his teammates never got the bullpen a lead in the 2010 playoffs,
Capps got hurt the next year (almost everybody on the 2011 Twins did) and was never an effective major leaguer again. Joe Mauer, who in 2010 appeared to be years away for having to abandon catching, only had two more seasons behind the plate. And catcher has been a frequent problem, offense and defense, since concussion issues forced Mauer to first base.
All that is inarguably true. Also true: For most of the past six years, Ramos wouldn't have fixed the catcher problem.