May 7, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT
The Nationals activated Wilson Ramos off the 15-day disabled list this morning and inserted their starting catcher right back in their starting lineup for today’s series finale against the Dodgers.
Ramos had been out since breaking the hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day, making his return in 32 days, ahead of schedule.
“He feels good, and he’s ready to go,” manager Matt Williams said. “So he’ll be in the lineup today.”
Ramos, who was Williams’ surprise cleanup hitter on Opening Day in New York, is batting fifth in his return to the lineup. He appeared in only four rehab games over the last week — two at extended spring training, one at Class A Hagerstown, one at Class AA Harrisburg — but homered three times and convinced club officials he was healthy and ready to return.
The key factor in the decision to activate Ramos today: He made it through a full pregame workout on Tuesday with no problems, either with his injured hand or his overall physical state.
“Just the way he’s moving around, and the way he ran his sprints,” Williams said. “Talking to him probably is the most important thing. We sat in the office yesterday, talked about it.”
The upcoming schedule allows the Nationals to ease Ramos back into full-time catching duties. The club is off Thursday, then opens a weekend series in Oakland, which would allow him to serve as DH for a game if the team desires.
Ramos’ activation came as right-hander Blake Treinen was optioned to Class AAA Syracuse. For now, the Nationals are going with an extra bench player: a third catcher. But they’ll need to remove somebody from the roster on Friday, with Doug Fister coming off the DL to make his first start of the season against the Athletics.
“We have to make that decision today after the game, or on Friday when Doug comes off,” Williams said. “We’re still contemplating.”
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