(UPDATE, 12:40 a.m.: Wilson Ramos went 0 for 4 and caught seven innings on Monday night for Class A Potomac.)
Wilson Ramos is expected to play seven innings for Class A Potomac in Woodbridge on Monday night followed by a full game the next day, the final remaining steps in the catcher’s return from a second hamstring strain. Ramos, who has missed 67 of the Nationals’ 81 games, had been at the team’s spring training complex in Viera rehabbing the hamstring and started catching games last week for their Gulf Coast League affiliate.
Ramos, 25, played in two GCL games, and in the most recent one he caught five innings and went 0 for 2 with a walk. This week, Ramos will ramp up his rehab. He is slated for seven innings on Monday and then a full game on Tuesday, but the rain could affect that schedule. It’s unclear if he will get the day off on Wednesday. The Nationals have targeted a Thursday return for Ramos, who has been out since May 15 when he re-strained his left hamstring.
(UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.: Manager Davey Johnson said Ramos’ rehab schedule has his return slated for Saturday but he hopes the catcher will be ready for July 4.)
Ramos’ return could help boost an inconsistent offense that will welcome back Bryce Harper on Monday. In Ramos’ absence, Kurt Suzuki has started 33 of the team’s 40 games at catcher, a massive workload. Before Ramos suffered his second hamstring injury, Suzuki was hitting .247/.326/.407. Since then, Suzuki is hitting .212/.258/.280 with one home run and 10 RBI in 128 plate appearances, boosted by a hot stretch of 5 for 9 with a home run in the past two games in New York.