Wilson Ramos said he is taking three days of paternity leave starting Tuesday with his wife expecting the delivery of their first child. According to the collective bargaining agreement, players are allowed to take up to three days of paternity leave and the team can call up a player to replace him during that time.
Ramos said he was planning to take his wife, Yeli, to the hospital on Tuesday. The couple is expecting a baby girl.
“It’s the first time this has happened to me,” Ramos said in Spanish. “It’s a balance between my job, something I’ve dedicated my entire life to, and my daughter, my responsibility and joy for the rest of my life. It’s something that us ballplayers that have kids have to go through. I don’t want to put my job to the side but the circumstances mean I have to.”
The Nationals will be without Ramos for a three-game series against the New York Mets. The Nationals can call up Sandy Leon, who was called up twice this season when Ramos was hurt, or Jhonatan Solano. Both players are at Class AAA Syracuse and on the 4o-man roster.
Ramos said if wife gives birth early he may swing by Nationals Park to take batting practice during the leave and then head back home to be with his family.
“I don’t want those three days to affect my swing,” he said. “I don’t want to lose the rhythm I’ve got right now.”
Ramos hopes to soon join several of his teammates who have also had children of their own within the past year. Many of the Nationals core players — Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg — are of similar age and their wives have had children since the end of last season.
“It’s a unique experience,” Ramos said. “I’ve seen a lot of teammates, here and in Venezuela, when they bring their kids to the stadium and they wait for them after games and give them a hug. I haven’t felt that emotion yet but thankfully I will soon. The feeling doesn’t compare to anything.”