As Wilson Ramos was helped off the field Saturday night after wrenching his knee win pursuit a passed ball, it was easy for the Nationals to entertain their worst fears. Now it appears those fears have been realized: Ramos has a torn ACL in his right knee and will require surgery. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes that this could end Ramos's 2012 season.
Ramos, 24, is hitting .265/.354/.398 on the year, which, in the current environment, makes for good production, especially by catcher standards. In that sense, it's an even more critical blow to a team that presently ranks 13th in the NL in runs scored. Ramos joins fellow Nats Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Mark DeRosa, Drew Storen, and Brad Lidge on the disabled list.
In Ramos's absence, Jesus Flores will work as the regular catcher, and Sandy Leon has been called up from Double-A to serve as backup. Leon has enjoyed a nice season thus far in terms of both offense and cutting down runners. However, he's still just a .246/.326/.334 career hitter across parts of six minor-league seasons. So unless the Nats happen to catch lightning in a bottle, they're facing a significant downgrade at the position.
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