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By - Adam Kilgore
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ramos gets the call,

however briefly

Catcher Wilson Ramos, the highly regarded prospect Washington acquired last month from the Minnesota Twins for closer Matt Capps, joined the Nationals on Wednesday in Atlanta. Ramos landed at about 4:15 p.m. and took batting practice before chatting with reporters.

Backup catcher Wil Nieves will tend to his wife, Yormarie, who was expected to give birth Wednesday night or Thursday. The Nationals expect Nieves to return Friday, at which point Ramos would likely be sent to Class AAA Syracuse until Sept. 1, when rosters expand.

Ramos, who will wear No. 3, could make his first start Thursday, Manager Jim Riggleman said. "I'd like to see him," Riggleman said.

Since arriving from the Twins' Class AAA affiliate, Ramos has hit .317 with a .349 on-base percentage, a .483 slugging percentage and two home runs in 63 plate appearances for Class AAA Syracuse.

This is Ramos's second tour in the majors. In May, he played seven games with the Twins. His return to Rochester was a reminder of how hard it would be to find playing time in the same organization as Joe Mauer.

"When Minnesota sent me to Triple A, I was a little bit down," Ramos said. "I know I can play in the big leagues. But when I got traded, I was a little bit excited. I know I've got more opportunity with this team."

Ramos is an elite defensive catcher with excellent power potential. "Big power to the opposite field," Nationals first base coach Dan Radison said.

"Everybody likes how I catch, how I throw," Ramos said. "Not everybody likes how I hit. I know I can hit, but I like more catcher."

Maya 'very consistent'

Yunesky Maya will start Sunday for Class A Potomac with a plan to throw five innings, Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams said Wednesday.

The Nationals want Maya, a 28-year-old Cuban right-hander, to pitch in the major leagues this season. They have yet to determine when, evaluating him on a start-by-start basis because he has not played at a high level in more than a year. "We're baby-stepping him toward that," Williams said.

Tuesday, in his second start in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Maya threw 66 pitches, allowing two runs in four innings. "He's a bulldog-type guy," Williams said. "He throws a lot of groundballs. The biggest thing that stuck out in my mind was he threw the ball over the plate. The delivery looked very consistent. There are a lot of pluses. I liked him."

Morgan ready to play

Nyjer Morgan was with the team in Atlanta and will be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. . . .

Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray, the three pitching prospects signed Monday by the Nationals, reported to Viera, Fla., for orientation.

First overall pick Bryce Harper will be introduced at Nationals Park at some point during the team's next homestand. Harper will not report to Viera and the Gulf Coast League until that time.

- Adam Kilgore


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