The Washington Nationals reinstated catcher Wilson Ramos from the disabled list Thursday morning and optioned reserve backstop Jhonathan Solano back down to Triple-A, the team announced. The Nats are wasting no time getting Ramos back in the lineup, as he is batting eighth and catching Thursday against the Brewers.
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Ramos, 25, has been sidelined since May 15 with a right hamstring strain. The Venezuelan backstop initially tore his hammy in early April -- causing him to miss two weeks -- then aggravated the injury on the bases in just his eighth game back, forcing him to the DL for a second time.
Ramos appeared in five rehab games over the last week -- two at Rookie ball, three at High-A -- but failed to notch a hit in 17 plate appearances. The catcher was able to get around the bases without any physical signs of distress, however, and was "mobile" behind the plate, per Roman Stubbs of the Washington Post, so it appears that his hamstring woes are behind him.
Ramos put up solid numbers in his 2011 rookie campaign but has had trouble staying off the disabled list in the year-plus since. A serious knee injury limited him to just 25 games last season, and his nagging hammy has allowed him to take the field for just 14 contests this season.
Though he went hitless in his rehab stint, Ramos' return to the capital should provide the Nats' offense with a much-needed boost. He is a career .267/.331/.432 hitter with 21 home runs in roughly a season's worth of big-league plate appearances (665) over parts of four seasons with the Twins and Nats. If he can post numbers anywhere near his career norms it should be a huge help for D.C.
Kurt Suzuki took a bulk of the catching duties in Ramos' absence, but -- like the rest of the team has -- struggled at the plate. The 29-year-old hit just .214/.255/.275 with a lone home run in 37 games while Ramos was out. Solano spelled Suzuki on 13 occasions over the last month and a half, but his numbers at the dish were even worse (just five hits in 32 plate appearances).