Nationals won't rush Ramos back to action
In light of abduction, catcher will stay sidelined until next week
WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is not expected to play for Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League until next week, his PR person, Marfa Mata, said on Twitter.
Ramos' return to the field will come two weeks after he was kidnapped in the suburban neighborhood of Santa Ines in Venezuela. As many as 11 people have been arrested in connection with the abduction of Ramos, who was rescued two days after his capture.
"It's going to be interesting to see him back there," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told MLB Network. "I'm sure he is going to be happy to be back doing what he loves doing."
Rizzo didn't rule out Ramos taking an early physical exam in Washington, D.C., after winter ball comes to an end.
"We want him to take a full physical and see where we are at," Rizzo told ESPN 980 AM. "We are going to get him in here as soon as we can. To do that, we'll sit here, discuss it and have him talk to a few people that are fully equipped to talk to people in these types of situations, because it was a high-stress environment. We want to make sure that he is physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to handle it and deal with it."
Ramos is expected to be an integral part of the Nationals for years to come. In 2011, his first full big league season, Ramos became Washington's everyday starter behind the plate, hitting .267 with 15 home runs -- a Nats record for a backstop -- and 52 RBIs.
Ramos finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, which was announced on Monday afternoon.
"Wilson deserved to be No. 4," teammate Danny Espinosa said. "To hit as well as he did in a prime defensive position, I think he had an awesome year."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.