Ramos excited to go distance behind plate

Ramos excited to go distance behind plate

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos did something on Thursday he hasn't done since last May. He played a full game behind the plate against the Braves, who defeated the Nationals, 4-3, at Champion Stadium.

The best moment came in the first inning, when Ramos threw out Andrelton Simmons trying to steal third base. Not bad for a guy who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on May 12, 2012, against the Reds.

"I'm very excited right now for this step in my career," Ramos said. "It's the first time I caught eight innings after I had surgery."

Ramos feels he is in the best shape since entering the big leagues. He lost weight, learning after the knee surgery that he needed to take better care of his body.

"I feel more strong. I feel more light behind the plate," Ramos said. "I'm blocking the ball pretty good. I feel very strong behind the plate. So, I'm very, very excited for this moment."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.