Wilson Ramos’s biggest offseason goal is to tackle a lingering fear that he still wrestles with every day now. Every time he runs the Nationals catcher is scared he will hurt himself again. Until this season he had never felt this way. Until this April he hadn’t hurt his hamstring. Until this May he had never strained his leg muscle so badly that he needed to miss a month and a half of the season. He wants to erase all of those doubts.

“I want to be able to run hard and have my legs respond and not have the fear” Ramos said recently in Spanish. “When I run hard now I’m scared of getting hurt. Before when I ran I didn’t have that fear. I want to run as hard as possible. I’m going to work hard on that.”

When he is on the field the Nationals are a different team a better one. They are 46-29 in games he has started and 38-46 in games in which he doesn’t. He is a strong game caller; the pitching staff has a 3.30 ERA with him behind the plate better than the other Nationals’ catchers. He is strong and has shown glimpses that he can carry a heavy load; he caught 23 straight games the longest streak in baseball this season which was fueled by a changed diet that included arepas. He has helped lift the Nationals’ offense since his return on July 4. He is hitting .275/.308/.468 in 76 games with 15 home runs and 56 RBI. He has homered every 18.7 at-bats which would rank 16th best in the baseball.

But Ramos is sick of injuries. He played only 25 games in 2012 because of a badly injured right knee. This season he has played in 76 games and recently proven he can handle playing every day. But other than his 2011 season he has yet to play every day from beginning of the season to the end. He has played in only 101 of a possible 321 games since the start of 2012.