With their exhibition schedule now in the books, the Nationals have sorted out their final roster decisions. Manager Davey Johnson announced on Friday Wilson Ramos will start at catcher on Opening Day and that relief pitcher Henry Rodriguez will make the 25-man roster. Ramos is slated to catch the first game with Kurt Suzuki taking over on Wednesday to catch Gio Gonzalez. Johnson said he looks at both Ramos and Suzuki as number one catchers and the two will alternate depending on the pitcher. The 25-year-old Ramos in some ways completes an almost year-long comeback from tearing the ACL in his right knee last May. He started last Opening Day after finishing fourth in N.L. Rookie of the Year voting in 2011. Johnson approached Ramos during batting practice on Friday to share the news. “I have been waiting for this moment,” Ramos said. “I was sliding, I was working to get my job back. This is a very exciting day for me.” “The last ten or 11 months I have worked hard for this moment.” Johnson explained the decision in part as a reward for Ramos’ perseverance and hard work. He saw Ramos the day he suffered the injury and was amazed at the shape he was in when pitchers and catchers reported back in February. “The progress he’s made with rehabbing himself after being out all year, he’s been rehabbing hard and looked great all spring,” Johnson said. “Just kind of a carrot for hard work.” Ramos earned the nod after a terrific spring at the plate. In 14 games this spring, Ramos hit .333 with two home runs, five RBI, and 12 total hits. He says his knee sometimes feels even better than it did before. “It feels great right now, I feel like 100 percent. That’s the most important thing now for me.” Johnson chose Rodriguez to finalize his roster over left-handed reliever J.C. Romero. Romero will likely be optioned to Triple-A Syracuse in the coming days.
Ramos to start Opening Day, Rodriguez makes roster
CSN Washington | Mar 31