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Rays journal: Wilson Ramos has reasons to be excited about return to Washington

Ramos played parts of seven seasons there.
Wilson Ramos has been a hit for the Rays this season. (Getty Images)
Wilson Ramos has been a hit for the Rays this season. (Getty Images)
Published Jun. 4, 2018

WASHINGTON — C Wilson Ramos is eager to return to the scene of his prime.

Ramos played parts of seven seasons with the Nationals, picking up the Buffalo nickname and sing-song Phish walk-up tune, culminating with a 2016 All-Star season that had him in line for a mega-bucks contract if not for a final week knee injury.

That's what led him to sign, at a reduced two-year rate, with the Rays. And as Ramos, 30 completes his return to form, hitting .299 with seven homers and an .819 OPS, headed toward another shot at free agency, he is eager for the quick two-game visit to Nationals Park.

"I'm very excited to go back and play there," Ramos said. "I've got good memories. The fans love me in that city. It's going to be very special for me."

Ramos ticked off a series of highlights, from his first walkoff home run to catching three no-hitters, including two by Tuesday night starter Max Scherzer, as well as his 20-strikeout game.

"Those are great moments in my career with that team," Ramos said.

Medical matters

The Rays were collecting information Monday on several medical situations that could have short- and long-term implications:

• RHP Chris Archer went to see core muscle specialist Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia, with the possibility of missing at least one start with a DL stint.

• Triple-A LHP Anthony Banda, the prime return in the February trade of OF Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona, was seeing Dr. Koco Eaton in St. Petersburg to determine the extent of what is at least a forearm strain. If he were to have a torn ligament that required Tommy John surgery he would be the third advanced prospect to be sidelined, joining Jose De Leon and Brent Honeywell.

• 1B/DH C.J. Cron was recovering from a bruised right forearm sustained when he was hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch and forced out of the game, with manager Kevin Cash expecting him in the lineup Tuesday.

• There was no update on the status of pitching coach Kyle Snyder, who was hospitalized over the weekend in Seattle for what the team called a "personal medical issue."

Davey in the dugout

Davey Martinez spent 2 ½ seasons playing for the Devil Rays, two years as a part-time instructor and then seven years as bench coach during Rays heydays. Having been passed over by the Rays to succeed Joe Maddon in 2015, he went with him to the Cubs as bench coach, then finally got his chance to manage this year, taking over a contenting Washington squad. As for facing his old team? "It'll be fun," Martinez said in Atlanta Sunday.

"It'll be fun to see some familiar faces and guys I was around for many, many years. So I'm looking forward to playing them."

Miscellany

• Rays rookie OF Johnny Field and Nats five-time All-Star OF Bryce Harper played against each other once in high school in Las Vegas, and took part in some workouts together. Field is 8 months older at 26, and said he knows Bryce's older brother, Bryan, and their dad better from working out at the same gym.

• RHP Nathan Eovaldi will have a different look than when he last faced the Nats pre-Tommy John surgery, having added an occasional pause to his delivery and a quick pitch to his repertoire.

• Nats SS Trea Turner was briefly property of the Rays after being acquired in the December 2014 Wil Myers deal, but was passed on to Washington in return for Souza. Ex-Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson is also with the Nats, leaving Sunday's game with a hamstring strain.

• The two games in Washington are the first of 10 the Rays will play without the DH, with upcoming series at the Marlins, Mets and Braves.

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