Now it could just be a quirk of the schedule. In the past 5 days the Nats have only played double headers and it's common for catchers not to start back-to-back double header games. But then there is this nugget from Bill Ladson's mailbag:
I thought Ramos would be the everyday guy by now, but manager Jim Riggleman said Ramos will start against left-handers and Rodriguez will face right-handers. (Ed. - bolding ming). We'll see how long it lasts.If you look at the past two weeks this is exactly what is happening. Ramos has started against every lefty starter, Pudge against every righty, with the exception of one of the Brewer double-header games where Milwuakee started two righties. So assuming Bill didn't make this up or misinterpret Riggleman early in the season (possible but then so did Kill-Gore, and Zuckerman, etc. etc.), in no more than 10 days Riggleman went from transitioning Ramos to a #1 role to stating Pudge will start roughly 70% of games. What spurned the turnaround?
I'm not exactly sure but the easiest answer is performance. In the last week Pudge is hitting .286 and Wilson .182. For a manager that already favors the vets, those numbers might have been too tempting to keep skipping over Pudge. Riggleman may play this off as trying to give Ramos a better chance to grow in the majors (he does hit lefties better), and note the fact that even facing lefty starters he faces a number of righty relievers, but if Wilson is ever going to be a starter he is going to have to face right handed pitching all the time.
Another thing to consider is that Riggleman just played everyone. There is no evidence that he started to play Ramos more two weeks ago when Ramos was still hitting better than Pudge. Perhaps Jim just fed the guys in the media what they wanted to hear. If that's the case well, I'd be pissed. It's one thing to skirt around the issue, but another to lead the guys reporting on the team to a conclusion that just isn't true. I read his comments from the 8th and I hear the same thing everyone else did. Ramos was not going to be #2 catcher. Based on his righty lefty starter split though that is exactly what Ramos is.
Wilson Ramos may very well be the starter for the future. Pudge will not be. The Nats need to know if he can be sooner rather than later. Riggleman appears to be actively working against finding this out.