The Washington Nationals’ World Series hopes took a serious blow Tuesday when All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Ramos is out for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, taking one of the most valuable players and a consistent power bat out of Washington’s lineup. He was hitting .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI and was one of baseball’s best offensive catchers.
“It’s unfortunate,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Wilson’s having an All-Star season and really a breakout season for himself. So it’s disappointing. I feel bad for him.”
Manager Dusty Baker said Ramos will have surgery to repair the ligament, which he tore during an awkward landing while catching a relay throw from Ryan Zimmerman on Monday night.
It’s the same knee Ramos had two surgeries on in 2012 to repair a torn ACL and medial collateral ligament. The injury is a double dose of pain for Ramos given the proximity of the postseason and that he’s set to become a free agent after the World Series.
The NL East champions will go with a combination of Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino behind the plate in Ramos’ absence. Lobaton is also a little banged up with an ankle injury, so the Nationals called up Spencer Kieboom as a third catcher.
Baker is confident that Severino and Lobaton can make up for Ramos’ absence defensively but will count on reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, second baseman Daniel Murphy and others to make up for the loss of a big bat.
Starter done for year
New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz will undergo surgery next week to remove bone spurs in his pitching elbow and will miss the rest of the season.
Matz, who has not pitched since Aug. 14, is expected to be ready for spring training.
The news Tuesday before the Mets’ game at Miami was the latest blow for a team riddled this year by injuries but still in contention for an NL wild-card berth.
Matz’s availability for the postseason had already been doubtful because he has been sidelined for more than a month because of tightness in his left shoulder.
Matz finishes the year 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts.
Key reliever injured
Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit will miss the rest of the regular season after tearing his left calf muscle when he tripped and fell while running in from the bullpen the second time benches cleared during Monday’s 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees.
Benoit left the stadium on crutches Monday and was still using them Tuesday.
Benoit expects to be out for at least two to three weeks, meaning he likely won’t pitch again unless the Blue Jays make a deep playoff run.
Benoit has been reliable since a July 26 trade with Seattle, going 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA.