ATLANTA — Though he's back on the Nationals' active roster for the first time in two weeks, Wilson Ramos will have to wait one more day before actually rejoining the starting lineup.
Activated off the 15-day disabled list this afternoon, Ramos remained on the bench for the Nationals' series opener against the Braves, with manager Davey Johnson not wanting to take any chances of his young catcher re-injuring his left hamstring.
"I treat hamstrings anything but lightly," Johnson said. "If he's OK today, he'll play tomorrow. I'm just being overly cautious. Just conforming with medical practices today. I'd rather be safe than sorry. That's all."
Ramos, who hurt himself April 13 running down the first-base line, appeared in two rehab games with Class AA Harrisburg, catching three innings on Friday and then six innings on Saturday. He didn't play or workout Sunday before joining the Nationals on their charter flight to Atlanta, which left Johnson to conclude he might still be a bit sore.
Johnson does plan to start Ramos on Tuesday night, at which point he'll resume alternating his starting catchers (Ramos and Kurt Suzuki) for the immediate future. That every-other-day plan worked well through the season's first two weeks, with Ramos hitting .300 with two homers in his first six games and Suzuki hitting .360 with two homers through his first 10 games.
"I'll probably alternate a little bit early," Johnson said. "But I was never going to be tied into that full-time. I play the hot hand, I look at matchups."
Sitting at his locker at Turner Field this afternoon, Ramos said he's 100 percent healthy and admitted some surprise he's not in the lineup tonight.
"Yeah, but it's OK," he said. "I'm just waiting for my time. I will get my opportunity get back there soon."