Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos remains on schedule to return from his left hamstring strain after only 15 days on the disabled list, a quick recovery that will allow him to put the latest setback in his star-crossed career behind him.
Ramos strained his hamstring April 13 while running out a groundball against the Braves, temporarily halting his comeback from the major knee surgery he underwent last summer to repair a torn right ACL and meniscus. Ramos admitted frustration today in his first comments since going on the DL.
“That was hard for me, more mentally, you know?” Ramos said. “I came from a surgery, and I get hurt again. It’s hard. It’s been a really hard part of my career. But it happens in baseball. You have to be strong mentally and try to get ready. It’s a long season.”
Manager Davey Johnson expects Ramos to take at-bats in extended spring training in Viera, Fla. this week to prepare for a return next Monday in Atlanta. Before he hurt his hamstring, Ramos was 6 for 20 with three walks and two homers.
While the Nationals traveled to New York and Miami last week, Ramos rehabbed every day at Nationals Park. When he first hurt himself, he said, he couldn’t even run. Now, he can perform any physical activity necessary to play.
“Much better,” Ramos said. “It’s been one week after I get hurt. I don’t feel any pain right now. I feel the progress is pretty good. I’m going to give my hamstring another week. I will be able to play next week. I should be ready after the 15 days.”
On the play Ramos injured his hamstring, he knew right away something had gone wrong. He didn’t regret the Nationals’ decision to put him on the disabled list, fearing coming back too soon could lead to another arduous rehab.
“I feel something,” Ramos said. “It’s not like, ‘pop.’ But I feel something. I’m not stupid. It don’t’ want to do too much and get hurt again.”
Ramos’s return will allow the Nationals to reinstitute the timeshare behind home plate between him and Kurt Suzuki, who has started every game since Ramos went on the DL. Suzuki has posted a .944 OPS this season, a performance that has allowed the Nationals to absorb Ramos’s injury.