The Nationals lost a game to the Diamondbacks on Monday, but it wasn’t close to the biggest loss they were dealt that day.
Wilson Ramos suffered what looked to be a serious right knee injury in the sixth inning when he landed funny after leaping for an errant relay throw to home plate. The catcher immediately crumpled to the ground in pain and called for the training staff while pointing to his knee. Ramos could barely put any weight on the knee as he was helped off and had trouble going down the dugout steps.
Ramos will undergo an MRI Tuesday before more is known, but the injury certainly looked like a season-ender and manager Dusty Baker spoke after the game as if he expected to be playing without his All-Star catcher from here on out. Worth noting is that it’s the same knee in which Ramos had his ACL and meniscus repaired back in 2012.
The Nats figure to go with Jose Lobaton as their main catcher and Pedro Severino as his backup behind the plate in the playoffs, assuming Ramos is ruled out. The downgrade is obviously massive. Ramos is in the midst of a career season with a .307/.354/.496 batting line, 22 homers and 80 RBI, while Lobaton is a career .224/.302/.329 hitter.
To make matters worse for Ramos personally, he is set for free agency this winter and had been in line for big contract in an especially weak free agent pool. It remains to be seen what kind of deal he could get if he needs another major knee operation.
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Marlins Win One for Jose
The Marlins probably didn’t feel like playing a baseball game Monday after tragically losing their friend and teammate Jose Fernandez over the weekend. But that’s what they had to do after a very emotional pregame ceremony, and they put forth an effort Fernandez would be proud of.
Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first inning by standing in the right side of the batter’s box for the first pitch as a tribute to Fernandez. He then switched to his customary left side of the plate and clubbed one well over the right-field wall for his first home run of the season. Gordon was sobbing the entire time during his circle around the bases before being mobbed by teammates in the dugout. It was an incredible sight.
Gordon wasn’t done there, though. He wound up with four hits and two RBI on the night to go along with a stolen base. The Marlins jumped on Bartolo Colon with seven runs over his 2 1/3 innings of work, with Justin Bour also having a big 3-for-3 night as he fell a home run shy of the cycle. The Marlins beat the Mets 7-3 as they held on to their slim playoff hopes.
With the Mets and Cardinals both going down, the Mets now sit a half-game ahead and the Cards one game behind the idle Giants in the National League Wild Card race.
Villar Inching Toward 20/60 Season
Jonathan Villar was nothing more than a late-round flier in fantasy drafts this past spring. He’s going to end the season as one of the top producers in all of fantasyland.
Villar continued his monster campaign Monday, doubling, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in five runs in a victory over the Rangers. It was part of a 10-hit, eight-run showing from the Brewers, who landed blow after blow against Texas starter Martin Perez.
Villar is going to cruise to the stolen base crown this season with Billy Hamilton done for the season, as he’s one ahead of Hamilton and needs just one more pilfer for 60 on the season. The two dingers Villar popped Monday gives him 18 for the year, which means he’s two homers and one steal shy of a 20/60 season. That’s rarefied air.
Much of the worry fantasy owners had with Villar coming into the season, aside of course from his pedestrian showing in the majors to that point, was that he’d be pushed into a backup role once Orlando Arcia was ready. Well, that proved to be a non-issue, as Villar has been a key contributor for the Brew Crew since day one and has found a home at third base since Arcia’s arrival. He’s certainly not going to be overlooked in fantasy drafts in 2017.
National League Quick Hits: Bryce Harper was not in the Nationals’ lineup Monday, but an X-ray of his left thumb came back negative. He’s expected to return to action later this week … Adam Duvall went 4-for-6 with a pair of homers and five RBI against the Cardinals on Monday … Javier Baez hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs in Monday's victory over the Pirates … Jean Segura smashed a pair of home runs and drove in three in Monday's blowout win over the Nationals … Kyle Hendricks tossed six shutout frames in Monday’s victory over the Pirates … Matt Carpenter sat out Monday’s game with soreness in his right ring finger. It’s an ailment that he’s apparently been dealing with for a couple weeks. He’s considered day-to-day … Steve Selsky went 5-for-5 with a home run and four RBI in Monday's win over the Cardinals … Both Gregory Polanco (face) and Starling Marte (back) were not in the Pirates’ lineup Monday. Marte’s status for the final week is very much up in the air, and it’s not clear when Polanco might be ready … Daniel Murphy (glute) remained out of the Nationals’ lineup Monday. He hasn’t started a game since September 17 … Jorge Soler will have his right side re-examined after aggravating his injury on Sunday … The Phillies have shut Jake Thompson down for the season … Rubby De La Rosa will undergo stem cell treatment on his ailing right elbow in hopes of avoiding another Tommy John surgery …
American League Quick Hits: Corey Kluber departed Monday’s start versus the Tigers with right groin tightness. The injury doesn’t seem to be serious, but don’t expect Kluber to go long in his final start of the regular season later this week with the Indians having clinched the division Monday … Robinson Cano launched a pair of homer – including the game-winner in the 11th inning – in Monday’s victory over the Astros … Masahiro Tanaka (forearm) will visit Dr. Christopher Ahmad in New York on Tuesday to determine whether he can make another start this season … Nelson Cruz (wrist) underwent an MRI Monday, but he’s expected to play through his wrist ailment … Astros manager A.J. Hinch hasn't ruled out Alex Bregman (hamstring) from returning this week … Roberto Perez went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI versus the Tigers on Monday … Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Monday that Nick Castellanos (hand) could return by the weekend … Jordan Zimmermann could rejoin the Tigers’ rotation on Saturday … Starlin Castro (hamstring) was available to pinch-hit Monday, but it’s unclear when he might be ready to return to the lineup … Kevin Kiermaier (hand) sat out Monday but hopes to be back in there Tuesday … Danny Salazar (forearm) threw his first bullpen session since being shut down. He’s trying to make it back as a reliever for the postseason … Colby Rasmus (hip, groin) is not expected to play again this season … Joaquin Benoit injured his calf in a benches-clearing incident with the Yankees on Monday … Garrett Richards (elbow) is slated to face live hitters on Wednesday and then begin pitching in the instructional league next Monday … Jered Weaver exited Monday's start against the Athletics after five scoreless innings due to lower back tightness, but he expects to be ready for his final outing of the season … ESPN's Keith Law has reported that the Twins have hired Derek Falvey as their new president of baseball operations …