"He caught a full nine innings on [Tuesday]," Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Danny Rouhier and Grant Paulsen on Wednesday morning when asked about Wilson Ramos. "The plan is for him to DH tonight and then we'll evaluate him and see where he's at after that." The Nats' 25-year-old catcher went 0 for 3 as the Potomac Nationals' DH last night to finish his rehab stint with the Nationals' High-A affiliate. This morning, Washington reinstated the catcher from the DL and reinserted him in the lineup for the Nationals' July 4th series finale with the Milwaukee Brewers.
For the first time in D.C. since May 11th and the first time period since May 15th, Wilson Ramos will take the field for the Washington Nationals this afternoon and bat eighth in the lineup as the Nats take one more step towards having their Opening Day lineup back and playing together. The 42-42 Nationals were two games over .500 on May 15th at 21-19 when Ramos injured his hamstring stretching a line drive to center into a double. Ramos singled in his next at bat that night, but was replaced on the basepaths by backup catcher Kurt Suzuki, and the next day the Nationals' Opening Day catcher went on the DL for the second time this season.
The left hamstring injury sidelined the Nats' backstop for 44 games. 45 games later Wilson Ramos is back in the lineup this morning for today's 11:00 am game with the visiting Brewers from Milwaukee. Before suffering the injury Ramos had a .250/.308/.439 line in 14 games and 52 plate appearances over which he had three doubles, two home runs, four walks and eight Ks. Ramos returns to a team in desperate need of offense.
Nationals' manager Davey Johnson was at a loss last night to explain the lack of production from his hitters after the Nats' 4-1 loss to the Brewers dropped them back to .500 again. "It's putting me in the looney bin," he told reporters. Johnson had no explanation for the struggles, however, saying, "It looks like we're getting good at bats, we're just not getting it done. I don't really have any answers." That doesn't mean he's going to stop trying new things, however, as evidence by the change Johnson unveiled this morning when the lineup was announced:
#Nationals July 4th lineup vs. MIL: Span 8, Desmond 6, Harper 7, Zimmerman 5, LaRoche 3, Werth 9, Rendon 4, Ramos 2, Jordan 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) July 4, 2013
Asked about the decision to move Ian Desmond to the two-hole and the thinking behind the move, Johnson told reporters, including the Washington Post's James Wagner, "I don't know, because I'm supposed to do something." Maybe "something" will work...