CINCINNATI -- Sandy Leon had just left Canal Park in Akron on Saturday night when his phone rang. The catcher for Double-A Harrisburg was asked to return to the stadium, so he that's what he did.
That's when Leon got the news that he was packing his bags for the Major Leagues. Leon, 23, takes the roster spot of Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who tore the ACL in his right knee on Saturday night. Ramos was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will require surgery. There has been no official determination on how much time Ramos will miss, but it is unlikely he will be able to play again this season.
"When they called me, they didn't tell me [about Ramos]," Leon said. "I just found out early in the morning. I just talked to him in the training room. It's tough. He's from Venezuela and he's my friend. It's bad for him, but great for me."
Leon will be the backup to Jesus Flores. A switch-hitter, Leon hit .319 with 10 doubles, one home run and 12 RBIs in 27 games for Harrisburg. He also threw out 12 of 29 would-be basestealers this season, and has thrown out 51 percent (133 of 261) over the last three seasons.
"He's a good young catcher. We're very fortunate that he didn't get claimed over the winter," said manager Davey Johnson. "He's a switch-hitter. I like his bat from both sides, and he's an outstanding receiver. He's another one of our good young depth in catching."
Leon received the news of his callup around midnight. The late hour didn't prevent him from calling home to tell his parents the good news.
"They were awake. I don't know how, but they were awake. They started crying," said Leon. "My mom asked, 'What happened? What happened?' But I said, 'No, mom, I went to the big leagues.' She handed my dad the phone and started crying. It was pretty awesome."