Two players recovering from injuries and surgeries will make their spring training debuts on Sunday. Ryan Zimmerman will take his first live swings in a game, starting as the team’s designated hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals in Viera. He is scheduled to get three at-bats.
Zimmerman will then be replaced by Wilson Ramos, who will get one at-bat against the Cardinals after getting final medical clearance on Saturday. This will be the first time Ramos has taken swings in a game since tearing his ACL and meniscus last May.
Ramos cleared the final hurdle — sliding — on Saturday and did so without any discomfort. Until now, Ramos has taken only batting practice and caught bullpen sessions. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said Ramos will start Tuesday’s game against the Houston Astros and play three innings.
After receiving the green light from the medical staff and Ramos’ doctor, Johnson said he will still ease the catcher into action. Zimmerman, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, will alternate as designated hitter with Ramos. Zimmerman will DH at home games and Ramos on road games. Johnson wants both players to get their timing at the plate back before they get a bulk of work in the field at their positions.
“[Ramos is] in great shape,” Johnson said. “He’s been taking extra work. He’s been blocking a lot. He’s done everything every other guy in camp has done. I’ve seen him do it. You know, missing the amount of time he did last year it’s more about getting him in there and getting him some at-bats.”
>>> Henry Rodriguez, who also being eased back into action from offseason elbow surgery, is scheduled to throw his first live batting practice session on Tuesday and then pitch in a game on Friday. Johnson said he will likely limit the right-hander to one batter, “piggybacking” him off Tyler Clippard’s outing. “I’m going to go real slow with him,” Johnson said.