Page last updated on Sat Oct 10 10:33:42 EDT 2015
Wed, 16 May 2012 03:54 AM EDT

National’s catcher Wilson Ramos has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the latest major problem for the National League East leaders. Baseball spreads

Ramos ‘ knee buckled as he chased a passed ball in the 7th inning of a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sat. night. He fell on his back in pain and had to be helped off the field, putting tiny weight on the knee.

The Nationals feared that he’d torn the ligament, which was confirmed overnight by an MRI. The young catcher is the 11th Nationals player to go on the disabled list this season and the latest of one or two major leaguers to tear an ACL this month.

“We’re going to need to begin to eat bananas or something to modify our luck,” executive Davey Johnson announced before a rain-delayed game Sunday. “We’ve had more than our fair shares of main players go down.”

The Washington Nationals called up catcher Sandy Leon from Double-A Harrisburg to back up Jesus Flores. The 23-year-old Leon was batting .319 with a homer and twelve RBIs in twenty-seven games at Harrisburg.

It’s been a rough 7 months for Ramos, who had one of the very finest seasons by a major league rookie last year. He returned home to Venezuela to play winter ball and was abducted with a gun in front of his parents’ home in Valencia.

He tore up his knee Saturday when his spikes caught in the grass as he planted his foot to pick up the ball, forcing his knee to buckle. He dropped to the ground in severe pain.

The Nationals have managed to stay in 1st place in the National League East regardless of a series of injuries that sapped every part of the team. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman recently returned from a sore right shoulder that forced him to miss 13 games. Relief pitchers Drew Storen and Brad Lidge, left fielder Mike Morse and utility man Mark DeRosa were among those that went on the disabled list in the opening month.

The past week has been particularly tough. Right fielder Jayson Werth had surgery to repair a broken left wrist that’s predicted to sideline him for no less than 3 months. On Friday night, newbie outfielder Bryce Harper needed 10 stitches to close a gash above his left eye, due to slamming a bat against a wall near to the dugout.

Harper was back in the lineup Saturday. Seven innings later, Ramos got hurt.

There has been a rash of knee injuries in the major leagues already this month.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tore the ACL in his right knee while chasing a fly ball during batting practice in Kansas City on May 3. Rivera, baseball’s career saves leader, intends to return next season.

The Milwaukee Brewers lost 2 infielders to the same injury. First baseman Mat Gamel tore his right ACL while chasing a foul pop on May 1 and hitting the wall at Petco Park in San Diego. Four days later, shortstop Alex Gonzalez tore his right ACL while sliding into 2nd base.

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