CINCINNATI -- Before the season started, the Nationals said they were going to start Wilson Ramos off slowly because he was coming off a devastating knee injury sustained last May against the Reds.
But to the surprise of many in the organization, Ramos has fully recovered and was off to a 4-for-9 start with two home runs through Saturday.
Hitting coach Rick Eckstein has noticed a change in Ramos. For one, Ramos lost about 15 pounds and looks mobile behind the plate. During Spring Training, Ramos said he would have never had the knee injury if he was in better shape.
Last season, Eckstein gave Ramos the nickname Buffalo. Now Ramos calls himself Bison because of the weight he lost before the season started.
"He is definitely in tip-top shape," Eckstein said. "Wilson has worked so hard this offseason to get back and be ready to go this spring. He has impressed everyone with his level of conditioning. He was on a strenuous program to be ready for the season. ... He hasn't skipped a beat. It's great to see. Wilson is a high-quality character guy that has tremendous talent. He has done a great job."
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.