Ramos arrives ready for first full season since 2011
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos reported to camp Thursday looking to have his best season to date.
Ramos missed a lot of time last season because of hamstring injuries, but he still put up impressive numbers in 78 games, hitting .272 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs. He declined to miss any games during the last two months of the season because he wanted to show the organization that he could stay healthy.
"I want to play a full season. I'm ready to play 130, 140 games, but we have to see what happens. No one wants to get hurt," Ramos said. "Right now, I concentrate on working on my legs and try to stay healthy for a full season and see what happens. I put up good numbers last year. I want to put up better numbers this year, with more at-bats, more plate appearances. I'm ready to go."
Ramos made sure he stayed in shape this offseason by playing for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. He was used mostly as a designated hitter.
"But I was working out my legs, my body. I caught a couple of bullpens. Right now, I feel great," Ramos said. "I want to play a full season healthy."
The last time Ramos was healthy for a full season was in 2011, his rookie season. In '12, Ramos missed most of the season after he tore his right medial meniscus while chasing a passed ball against the Reds on May 12. And then last year, he had the hamstring problems.
Now, Ramos looks to play a full season for new manager Matt Williams. The two have a history. They had an altercation on June 5, 2011, when Williams was a coach with the D-backs.
That day, Ramos hit a three-run homer off right-hander Aaron Heilman. Ramos took his time rounding the bases, and Williams, then Arizona's third-base coach, yelled at Ramos. Jayson Werth took umbrage at what Williams was saying across the field and got into a verbal exchange with Williams.
At his introductory news conference with the Nats almost three years later, Williams said that he was pleased that he will manage Ramos and Werth in 2014.
On Thursday, Ramos said he is looking forward to playing for his new manager.
"I haven't talked with him yet," Ramos said. "Probably today or tomorrow, I will talk with him. I want to know him. Now he is the manager. I remember him from 2011. I ran the bases slowly. He stood out and said something. That's part of the game. But I'm ready to talk to him. I know he will teach me a lot. I have to learn a lot more."