Wilson Ramos returned quickly from his hamate bone surgery, only five weeks after the broken bone was removed from his left hand. He has been back with the Nationals for a week and, on Tuesday, he made his fifth start in six games since his return.
Through the past five games, a small sample size, Ramos was 3 for 16, including a single and run scored Tuesday. More importantly, Ramos’s hand has held up well with all the swinging and catching. Doctors warned him that his hand would be sore for about another month, but the pain would be tolerable enough to play through. He ices his hand and wrist after games.
“The hand is much, much better,” he said before Tuesday’s game. “Every time I play, it feels better. I’m getting more into the rhythm of my normal swing. And catching, too. Everything is going well day to day. I’m not going backwards but improving. That’s important.”
While Ramos is building strength in his hand, he is still working to smooth out his swing and timing. In recent games, he has swung at some pitches outside the zone or missed pitches he would normally drive. Ramos admitted that he still has some slight fear of using his full power swing. It isn’t a conscious hesitation.
When his bat makes contact, Ramos said his hand doesn’t feel a thing. But he is adjusting to a different sensation in his wrist near where the hamate bone was removed. Loss of power can be a result of the surgery Ramos underwent.
“I’m trying to make a good swing,” he said. “Maybe when I swing, there’s a little bit of fear. I don’t go to the batter’s box with the mentality. I go up to bat normal and trying to make good contact on the swing. . . . I’ll get more confidence as time goes on and I keep going along.”
Manager Matt Williams has also noticed the slight change in Ramos’ swing.
“He’s got a little bit of a different follow-through right now, which tells me that the strength probably isn’t all the way back,” Williams said. “But that will come by catching and by playing. His timing is just a touch off, and it looks like it. He’s missing some balls. He rolled over a ball [Monday] night that he usually hit really well.
“He’ll be fine. He’s still kind of in the rehab process. You never know how many games you’re going to need after something like that. I think his legs are good. I think he feels good about it. It’s a question of getting his timing back and he’ll be there.”
With more games behind the plate and more at-bats, Ramos believes he will back to normal soon and back into the normal in-season groove.
“I feel good,” he said. “I feel more comfortable.”
FROM THE POST
FROM YESTERDAY’S JOURNAL
NATS MINOR LEAGUES
Toledo 11, Syracuse 5: Aaron Laffey allowed seven runs on 12 hits over 4 2/3 innings. Tyler Robertston gave up four runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings. Ryan Mattheus pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Brock Peterson hit a three-run home run
Akron 7, Harrisburg 6: Blake Schwartz allowed six runs, five earned, over four innings. Neil Holland threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Recently promoted Adrian Sanchez went 1 for 4 with two RBI. Quincy Latimore went 3 for 4.
Frederick 7, Potomac 0: Brett Mooneyham allowed seven runs, six earned, on six hits over five innings. Tony Renda had Potomac’s lone hit.
Hagerstown 3, Kannapolis 1: Jake Johansen allowed one run on six hits and struck out six over five innings. Ryan Ullman tossed three scoreless innings of relief and Phillips Valdez added one. John Wooten went 2 for 4 and scored two runs. James Yezzo finished 3 for 4. Hagerstown is 29-8 and lead all of minor league baseball with a .784 win percentage.