Although the Minnesota Twins $184 million man, Joe Mauer, is out of commission with a bruised left heel for the time being, his replacement, Wilson Ramos, has been filling the backstop's big shoes just fine.
Sunday afternoon, Ramos became just the 12th player in the history of the game -- and the first since 1998 -- to knock out four hits in his major league debut. As if that wasn't impressive enough, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI during Monday night's series opener against the Detroit Tigers, bringing his season average to .778 (7-for-9) in his first two big league games.
Apparently, a change of scenery is all the 22-year-old Venezuelan catcher needed, as he hit just .179 for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings before the call-up, including an 0-for-8 mark in his final two games. It looks like as long as Mauer is listed as day-to-day, Ramos will see how far he can take this streak. Either way, it's been a blast to watch him hit.
Game 2 of the three-game series against the Tigers is set for 7:10pm this evening, as Nick Blackburn takes the hill for Minnesota against Dontrelle Willis, who held the Twins to four hits over six shutout innings on April 29.
Meanwhile, Blackburn is 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA in seven career games against the Tigers, including six starts. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Ramos as well as this Detroit series, and anything else you'd like to throw out there.
P.S. if you're wondering how Joe Nathan is holding up, Marea and I had the pleasure of interviewing him for BLB.