Wilson Ramos was back at Nationals Park on Tuesday, his injured left hand feeling so strong, he expects to come off the disabled list and start behind the plate Wednesday afternoon against the Dodgers.
“I think so,” he said. “I think that’s the plan for now.”
So, no more rehab for Ramos, who has been playing in games only the last four days, two of them at extended spring training in Viera?
“Nah, I don’t need that,” he said. “I’m good. I’m ready to go. … I’m ready to be here.”
Ramos may be ready, but the Nationals aren’t quite ready to pencil him into their lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against Los Angeles.
“I know that he feels good and he has played well, but we haven’t made a decision on that one yet,” manager Matt Williams said during his afternoon media session. “We’ll see how it goes. But I know that he feels good. He’ll go through a full workout today and we’ll evaluate where he’s at. I want to put my eyes on him, too. I know our full staff does.”
Ramos went through a full batting practice session with his teammates, launching multiple balls over the fence, and also ran the bases and went through some other drills. Club officials aren’t so much worried about the state of his healed hamate bone, which fractured on Opening Day, but with his over condition after spending the last five weeks on the disabled list.
“I know he’s excited, but that’s a really fast turnaround,” Williams said. “That’s a really fast recovery from an injury. Our medical guys do a really nice job with that. They have a long history of getting guys back quick from that particular injury. But I’m not concerned with that. I’m concerned with his legs and him being fully ready to play.”
Ramos’ results on the field during his brief rehab stint have been impressive. He has hit three homers over the last four days, and on Monday night he caught all nine innings for Class AA Harrisburg.
He said his hand remains “just a little sore,” something he’ll have to deal with for awhile longer. He’s wearing an extended pad on his catcher’s mitt to protect the lower part of his hand, and he has shaved down the knob on his bat to take pressure off the injured area.
“The doctors say it will be sore for a little while, but it’s normal,” he said. “They told me, if you can play with just that little [bit of soreness], just do it. And that’s what I’m doing right now.”
If Ramos isn’t activated on Wednesday, he’ll almost certainly come off the DL in time for Friday’s series opener in Oakland.