Continue for updates.
Ramos' Timeline for Recovery
Monday, Feb. 13
Chastain noted that Ramos—who Tampa Bay signed to a two-year, $12.5 million contract this offseason—likely won't be ready to play until July and catch until August.
Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom commented on the catcher's recovery, per Chastain: "He has worked his tail off trying to get back on the field. And he's very motivated. Really wants to make an impact. We're not going to hold him back, we just don't want to do anything that's going to jeopardize his health."
He is coming off the best offensive year of his career in 2016 and set career-highs in games played (131), batting average (.307), on-base percentage (.354), slugging percentage (.496), home runs (22), doubles (25), RBI (80) and runs scored (58), continuing a power surge that saw him hit double-digit home runs in four consecutive seasons.
Despite the offensive prowess, Ramos struggled in the field last year and was responsible for minus-two defensive runs saved, per FanGraphs. A large issue was pitch framing, and he was a mere 24th in the league in Baseball Prospectus' catcher-framing metric.
Still, he makes up for it with his offense, and the Rays are hoping he can provide much-needed power down the stretch of the 2017 campaign.
They will likely split time between Luke Maile and Curt Casali until Ramos returns. Inexperience is an issue since Maile has played just 57 games in his career, and Casali has played 152.
If that duo can keep Tampa Bay afloat in a daunting American League East that features the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees, Ramos will provide an instant boost to the offense for a potential playoff run.