Flores torrid in Venezuela

Flores torrid in Venezuela
November 14, 2011, 2:33 pm
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Wilson Ramos let it be known yesterday he's ready to move on. Though it's been less than three days since the Nationals catcher was rescued following his abduction in Venezuela, Ramos says he wants to turn his attention back to baseball.

The 24-year-old intends to start playing for the Aragua Tigres on Wednesday, honoring his commitment to suit up for his winter ball club. His return to the diamond surely will make for an emotional scene, but he's hoping it quickly transforms into just another night at the ballpark and he can pick up where things left off before. We can only wait and see if that's going to be possible.

In the meantime, there are a few baseball-related notes to pass along this Monday morning...

Ramos' catching teammate and fellow countryman Jesus Flores continues to rake at the plate. After missing one game with what he termed "discomfort" in his right leg, Flores hasn't missed a beat. He's got four hits (not to mention three RBI) in his last seven at-bats, and he's now hitting a stout .414 to lead the Venezuelan league. ...

Meanwhile, in the Arizona Fall League, Bryce Harper was finally held hitless. With an 0-for-3 showing Saturday, the Scottsdale Scorpions outfielder saw his 16-game hitting streak come to an end. Pretty impressive run for the 19-year-old, who in 22 overall games is batting .310 with a .372 on-base percentage, six homers, 25 RBI and a .979 OPS. ...

And the Hot Stove League is beginning to heat up, especially in the NL East. The Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to a staggering four-year, 50 million contract, hoping the former Boston closer can solidify the back end of their bullpen in place of Ryan Madson, who is now a free agent. I know there's been some speculation that the Nationals could be after Madson, with Jayson Werth serving as something of a recruiting coordinator. I'm not saying there's no chance of this happening, but I do believe the chances are very slim. I've never heard Mike Rizzo or Davey Johnson suggest they aren't happy with Drew Storen as their closer, and I can't imagine they'd pay Madson 40 million or more to be a setup man. ...

Elsewhere in the NL East, the newly re-branded Miami Marlins -- by the way, have you seen their new logo and uniforms? Yikes -- are hot in pursuit of some of the biggest names on the open market. They hosted Albert Pujols on Friday, making a strong pitch to the game's best player. And rumors were swirling yesterday that they were on the verge of signing Jose Reyes. No deal is in place yet, but Miami certainly is trying to make a major splash as it opens its new ballpark and tries to alter the franchise's identity.