MLB notes: Nationals catcher done for season
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is likely done for the season.
An MRI revealed Sunday that Ramos will need surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The 24-year-old Venezuelan was put on the 15-day disabled list but probably won't play again until the 2013 season.
Ramos, a kidnapping victim in his native country last winter, was injured when his knee buckled as he chased a passed ball in the seventh inning of Washington's win over Cincinnati Saturday. He's the 11th Washington player to go on the DL this season.
"We're going to have to start eating bananas or something to change our luck," Nats manager Davey Johnson said Sunday. "We've had more than our fair share of key players go down."
The Nationals called up Sandy Leon from Double-A Harrisburg to back up newly crowned starter Jesus Flores. Leon was hitting .319 with one homer and 12 RBIs in 27 games with Harrisburg.
DICE-K ON WAY BACK
Boston Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka will make two more rehab starts before rejoining the big-league rotation before the end of May.
Matsuzaka, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow just under a year ago, will start twice for Triple-A Pawtucket in the next 10 days, according to ESPNBoston.com. In he does OK in those two starts, the Red Sox will likely activate him in the last week of May.
"I didn't think he was as good as he should be," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "His mechanics weren't very good at all. But he's throwing pain-free, so that's good."
Matsuzaka gave up five runs on seven hits while striking out five in his fourth minor-league start Saturday.
NEW RING FOR LOWE
Cleveland Indians starter Derek Lowe picked up some new bling Sunday.
Boston Red Sox owners John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner gave Lowe a new 2004 World Series ring to replace the one he had stolen from his home in Fort Myers last month. Lowe's house was broken into in late April and the ring and his World Series trophy were among the $90,000 in possessions stolen.
"You know me, I can talk," Lowe said. "But it was one of those moments where I didn't even know what to say. It wasn't like they just sent over a bat boy or sent it over. All three of them came over to give it to me. They said some really nice things.
It's something I'll never forge. It almost means more this time because it was a selfless act on their part. I just want people to know they did this."
Reliever Dan Wheeler was given his walking papers by the Cleveland Indians Sunday after giving up six runs in a 12-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The 34-year-old righthander was designated for assignment after fashioning a 8.76 ERA and 1.95 WHIP in 12 appearances this season ... Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin has handed the closer's job to lefty Brian Fuentes, replacing Grant Balfour, who was demoted to a setup role. Balfour converted seven of nine save opportunities but his 4.41 ERA is a little high for Melvin's liking ... The St. Louis Cardinals activated first baseman Lance Berkman off the 15-day DL and optioned outfielder Shane Robinson to Triple-A Memphis. Berkman was out three weeks with a left calf strain ... Injured St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter won't start a throwing program until mid-June, according to GM John Mozeliak. The 37-year-old, out with nerve irritation in his neck and shoulder, probably won't pitch for the Cards until late July ... The San Francisco Giants activated lefthanded pitcher Jeremy Affeldt from the 15-day DL and designated lefty Travis Blackley for assignment ... Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald was put on the 15-day DL with a right oblique muscle injury. Boston called up first baseman Mauro Gomez from pawtucket to take his spot on the roster.