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Nationals call up 22-year-old catching prospect Wilson Ramos

Aug 18, 2010, 2:18 PM EDT

Wilson Ramos has hit .317/.349/.483 in 15 games at Triple-A since going from Minnesota to Washington in last month’s trade for Matt Capps, and now the Nationals have called up the 22-year-old catcher while Wil Nieves is away from the team to be with his pregnant wife.
Ramos was all but guaranteed to get a September call-up, so this will merely give him a little more opportunity to impress with an eye toward potentially making the Opening Day roster next season. Ivan Rodriguez is under contract for $3 million in 2011, but he’s 38 years old and has hit just .236/.255/.292 with one homer over the past 50 games.
Meanwhile, Capps blew a one-run lead last night before Jim Thome’s walk-off homer and is 4-for-6 converting saves since the trade.

  1. bgrant - Aug 18, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    … and so it begins.
    I know this counts for little and obviously he needs to hit breaking stuff more consistently, but Wilson Ramos looks outright imposing at the plate. With Capps being just another very hittable reliever this deal might start looking bad sooner rather than later if Ramos can continue his current hot streak.

  2. Buccofan - Aug 18, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Catcher is not a position of need for the Twins by any means. If Capps helps to get the Twins to the playoffs, then the deal is a plus for them. This could wind up being a win-win deal.

  3. geoknows - Aug 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Catcher may not be a position of need for the Twins, but that doesn’t mean you throw Ramos away for the likes of Matt Capps. They could have gotten way more for him. They have a saying in fantasy baseball (which I don’t play): Never overpay for saves. The same holds true in real baseball.

  4. doctorfunke - Aug 18, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    That’s great. Ramos was going nowhere with the Twins. The Twins needed bullpen help THIS season so they went and got a qualified reliever. I’m just glad he’s playing in games like this now seeing as he has no experience in big game situations as a big leaguer. I’d rather have him blow a save now rather than in the playoffs. And like Mr. Pouliot stated in his relief pitcher hot stove post, Capps will be getting a raise next year and the Twins have another pretty decent closer that should return next season. All signs point to Capps getting traded.
    I hope Ramos does well, he would have been stuck in the Twins’ system for a while and I am glad that Bill Smith was able to help the bullpen out with this trade.

  5. doctorfunke - Aug 18, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    FWIW, the Twins tried to get several other players with Ramos as a bargaining chip, but teams were asking too much to go along with him in return.

  6. Ace2000 - Aug 18, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    Couldn’t agree more with geoknows. Of course, it made perfect sense for the Twins to trade Ramos, but surely they could have done better. A catcher with such a huge potential upside is a rare commodity and a heck of bargaining chip. I have to think that some team out there with a gaping hole at catcher would have been willing to cough up a more capable reliever than Matt Capps.

  7. doctorfunke - Aug 18, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    There’s a reason that Butera and even Morales have stuck in our system and Ramos did not; His defense. If he can hit like it looks like he can at the major league level, I’m guessing it will not be as a catcher, it will be as a first baseman. And the Twins have a pretty good one of those too.
    Let’s see how Capps does the rest of the way. He’s still getting acclimated to a new team, a new league and playing in a playoff race. Let’s not write him off yet. He had 26 saves for the Nationals before coming over, he seems pretty capable to me.

  8. bgrant - Aug 18, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    When your trade chips value is low and you think it will get even lower, then you can trade the guy without much concern, but I think Smith simply panicked here. Ramos was in his 1st season of AAA and the Twins dealt him at his lowest slumping point. He’s picked up his hitting since being dealt and has a chance to be an impact cost-controlled offensive catcher (with great defense) next year. If that happens this could be a historically brutal deal for the Twinkies.

  9. bgrant - Aug 18, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Overvaluing the save stat is exactly what critics of this deal say the inexperienced Smith did on the trade.
    Regarding defence: You know Ramos is a good defensive catcher right? If he moves anywhere it would likely be to reduce injury risk, not due to lack of defense.

  10. mike wants wins - Aug 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Agree 100% with geoknows.

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