Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams has been providing daily updates on Wilson Ramos' rehab starts and potential return. Williams has stressed over the past few days that the Nats want to take a cautious approach when it comes to getting the 26-year-old catcher back in the lineup.
"We have to be careful with Wilson," the Nats' manager said on Monday. "Coming off the injury it seems as if you can never have enough rehab games, but you also want him back in the big leagues so he can be productive and play."
"I think the final test today is for him to catch nine innings," Williams said before Ramos did just that last night with the Harrisburg Senators. "That's the plan today. Catch nine innings and see where he is after that and make sure he feels good. Ultimately we would love for him to run the bases more. The problem is he's been hitting it over the fence. So that's a hard one. You'd like him to go first-to-third or try to score from first to make sure that he's done all those things that you normally do but he hasn't really provided that opportunity."
Testing the left hand behind the plate is a big key, Williams explained, and taking the constant pounding his surgically-repaired hand will when he catches a full game's worth of pitches. Once he'd done that, the Nationals' manager said, he would be ready to return.
"All things point to him being available at some point this week," Williams said. "Exactly when we don't know."
As it was left on Monday, Williams said Ramos could return this week in D.C. or this weekend in Oakland, but at some point soon the Nats' no.1 catcher would be back.
There were more updates this afternoon.
Ramos was in the clubhouse today where he told reporters including MASN's Pete Kerzel that he was ready to go as soon as tomorrow in the finale with the Los Angeles Dodgers if the Nationals give the go-ahead.
"'I don't need [more rehab],'" Ramos said. "'I'm ready to go.'"
Williams, however, apparently remains cautious about rushing the Nationals' catcher back into action:
"'I know that he feels good and that he's played well, but we haven't made a decision on that. We'll see how it goes. I know that he feels good, but [he'll] go through the full workout today and we'll evaluate where he's at. I want to put my eyes on him. I know our whole staff does.'"
It's wait and see as of now for when Ramos returns. Here are some of the tweeted reports from this afternoon:
Wilson Ramos is here, will workout this afternoon. Said he expects to be in Nats lineup tomorrow.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 6, 2014
Matt Williams said he wants to watch Wilson Ramos work out today during BP before deciding anything but didn't rule out his return tomorrow.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 6, 2014
Wilson Ramos (hamate bone surgery) is here today, will take regular BP with the Nats and hopes to be activated tomorrow. "I'm ready to go."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 6, 2014
Wilson Ramos is out taking BP now, under the eyes of the Nats' coaching staff. Just crushed a ball into the visitors' bullpen.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 6, 2014
Ramos was 2 for 7 with a home run in two rehab games. He broke the hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day and has been on the DL since.
• We talked about Ramos, the possibility of the Nats keeping three catchers through the weekend and more on last night's late-night edition of Nats Nightly w/ Dave Nichols from the District Sports Page: