(There was a time when Jesus Flores was the catcher of the future in Washington. AP Photo.)
Farewell, #3. Welcome, #3.
Earlier this afternoon, the good news spread around NatsTown that Wil Nieves had been placed on Temporary Leave by the Nats in order to be with his pregnant wife (who is apparently due any minute now), and was being replaced by newly acquired Wilson Ramos. Hey, great, we can't wait to see a sneak preview of Ramos, who's done nothing but hit since arriving in AAA Syracuse -- and best of all, reportedly his Nationals debut could come as soon as Thursday night. And Wilson Ramos even gets a good jersey number (not like one of those high numbers you see in Spring Training, like 61 or 74 or 83, that scream, "Look at me! I'm heading to the minors!")! No, Ramos gets a Big League number (via Adam Kilgore/Nationals Journal):
Ramos, who will wear No. 3, could make his first start tomorrow, Manager Jim Riggleman said, which would Ivan Rodriguez a day game off following a night game. "I'd like to see him," Riggleman said.
(via Nationals Journal, 8/18/2010)
The jersey number assignment is more than just a little symbolic: There was a time when #3 -- and a lock on a starting job in the future behind the plate in D.C. -- belonged to Jesus Flores, the Rule 5 guy Jim Bowden famously swiped from the Mets. But the last we heard from Jesus Flores, he was being shut down again while rehabbing in Viera in July, suffering yet another setback in his ill-fated return from shoulder surgery.
We'd be remiss if we didn't offer best of luck to Jesus Flores. But Wilson Ramos' arrival tonight in Jesus's old jersey seems to signal the end of the road to Washington for Jesus Flores.