Wilson Ramos squeezed his left side after being hit by a pitch during Tuesday night’s Class A rehab assignment with the Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge. He was slow to run down the first base line to take his base, and the team’s third base coach and trainer rushed to his aid near home plate.
Ramos waved them off before they could reach him, knowing that getting beaned was a blessing on this night. It gave Ramos an opportunity to run the bases and test his left hamstring, which has had him on the disabled list since May 15, his second time this year that he has been shelved because of the reoccurring injury (Ramos was out April 14 through 29).
“It was a great opportunity to stay on the bases and put my legs to practice,” Ramos said.
And he looked comfortable running Tuesday, which he calls his top “priority” at the moment. He ran from first to third on a single without issue, taking full strides and not pulling up before he reached third base – and it was the highlight of the night for Ramos, who caught all nine innings and went 0 for 3 in his second appearance in as many days with Potomac against Winston Salem. He is scheduled to return to Woodbridge Wednesday to serve as the designated hitter in hopes of getting more at-bats ahead of rejoining the Nationals Thursday against Milwaukee.
“Right now, it feels great,” he said. “My leg feels strong. I don’t feel nothing in my leg. I felt like I never got hurt. I have to keep working, man. I don’t want to be on the DL again.”
The rehab process for Ramos has been longer than it was for Bryce Harper, who played for Potomac just last week as he made his way back to the parent club. Ramos noted that the process has been going on since May 15. He was assigned to the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate down in Florida, where he caught two games of three and five innings, respectively, but said “the first time I tried to run the bases down there, I felt something. So, you know, the process was a little long.”
Ramos, who went 0 for 4 Monday night with Potomac, only saw eight pitches Tuesday night. He flied out on the first pitch of the first at-bat in the first inning, then popped out to center field after swinging on a 3-0 fastball in the third inning.
But he got his chance to run in the fifth after being hit and also had a quality night defensively. He blocked five or six erratic pitches in the dirt, and he threw out a runner trying to steal second base in the third inning. He caught seven innings Monday night; he plans to get more at-bats Wednesday as the designated hitter, hoping to get more opportunities to run the bases before his return to Washington Thursday.
“My priority right now is running. I know I can hit,” Ramos said. “After getting hit by the pitch, you know, I ran first to third. And that was a great sample for me, to see how I feel. I don’t care about the hit by pitch. The most important thing is, you know, I ran the bases good and it feels good.”