Phillies: Wilson Ramos expects to join team in August

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Wilson Ramos #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Wilson Ramos #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Recent acquisition Wilson Ramos told reporters Thursday that he expects to join the Phillies in mid-August, much earlier than some thought.

The Phillies made a surprising move at the trade deadline when they acquired Wilson Ramos from the Rays. The move was even more unexpected when you consider Ramos is currently on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

Ramos and the rest of the baseball world expected he would be traded at some point in August, assuming he was healthy and would pass through waivers. Instead, the Rays sold low, trading him for cash or a player to be named later. The move could prove to be a steal for Philadelphia, but it will depend on how long Ramos plays.

When Ramos was acquired, general manager Matt Klentak said Ramos may not play until September. Manager Gabe Kapler said that there were many possibilities about a potential return date for Ramos. Neither of them inspired much confidence about a quick return for Ramos.

However, Ramos is much more certain about his return. In fact, he fully believes he will be back at some point in August: [quote via Matt Breen of Philly.com]

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"“100 percent sure that I’ll be back this month,” Ramos said. “Probably in the middle of the month, not more than that. I think two weeks and I’ll probably be fine…“I didn’t want to rush,” Ramos said. “But right now, I’m working really hard and getting my legs strong. As soon as I feel better to run, I’ll do it and see how it feels. Happy for me and happy for this team because I know I can help.”"

If Ramos follows the timeline he laid out, he will get about a month and a half in Philadelphia. Considering the team won’t even have to give up a top-30 prospect even if they get this much time out of Ramos, this trade is a no-brainer.

Before the injury, Ramos was one of the best offensive catchers in the game. In 78 games, he had a .297/.346/.488 line with 14 home runs and 53 runs batted in. He was named an AL All-Star but had to miss the game due to injury. Among catchers with 300 or more plate appearances, only J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal have a higher wRC+. Ramos has the second-best batting average and third-best OPS of this group.

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The more of Ramos the Phillies can get, the better off they will be. He has already been worth 2.4 wins above replacement this year per Baseball Reference. Aaron Nola is the only Phillie having a better season by this metric. Even if Ramos only plays 30 games or so, he will be worth about a whole win above replacement. Considering how close the division race is expected to be, every win the team can add will pay huge dividends.

If Ramos does come off the disabled list in August, Andrew Knapp may have to spend some time in Triple-A. However, he should come back in September when the major-league rosters expand.

Next. Phillies becoming the favorite in the NL East. dark

Whenever Ramos does return, he will certainly boost Philadelphia’s chances to make the playoffs this year.

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