Lobaton feels bad for friend, teammate Ramos
NEW YORK -- Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton felt bad for teammate Wilson Ramos, who is going to miss at least a month because of hamate bone surgery on his left hand. The surgery took place Wednesday, and Ramos is expected to rejoin the team in Washington on Thursday.
Ramos took to Twitter and thanked the fans for their support: "Thank you to all of you. [S]urgery went [well]. I will be back soon with the arms up. The búfalo love[s] you all," Ramos wrote.
Ramos has had plenty of bad luck over the past three years. He missed most of the 2012 season because of a devastating injury to his right knee, and he missed half of the 2013 campaign because of hamstring issues.
Labaton spoke to Ramos on Tuesday and tried to cheer Ramos up. In turn, Ramos told Lobaton to play hard and try to win games. With Ramos out, Labaton will be the team's No. 1 catcher.
"I'm going to play more, but at the same time, Wilson is a friend and my teammate," Lobaton said. "You never want to get hurt. … Sometimes, it's out of your hands. He [was swinging the bat] and he felt something. Sometimes, you don't know when it's going to happen. He has to be strong and come back strong."
With Ramos placed on disabled list, the Nationals recalled catcher Sandy Leon, who will play behind Lobaton. Leon has known Ramos since they were 5 years old. Leon was on his way to Double-A Harrisburg when he received word that he was getting promoted to the big leagues because of Ramos' injury.
"I didn't expect to be [in the big leagues] so fast," Leon said. "I feel really bad for Wilson, because he is my friend and we are from Venezuela."
Leon was on the Spring Training roster until the close to the last day of camp, and he left a good impression on manager Matt Williams.
"I love his defensive prowess, and I think it's important for our club," Williams said. "He had a great [season in] winter ball. From my understanding and talking to our staff, he has really made some nice improvements from a year ago. It came down to a decision in Spring Training where we were thinking about bringing him [to the big leagues] anyway. It's a big reason why he is here today."