After missing most of 2012, Ramos feeling good

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was behind the plate for three innings in a 16-10 loss to the Cardinals on Friday afternoon, catching starter Jordan Zimmermann. Including Friday's action, Ramos is 3-for-7 this spring, and manager Davey Johnson is satisfied with what he has seen from his catcher.

It also helped that Ramos was able to safely slide into third base on Cards starter Shelby Miller's wild pitch on Friday. Sliding was the final obstacle for Ramos before he was able to get into a game.

"I thought it was a good slide. I thought [Ramos] was going to be out by a mile," Johnson said. "I was pleased with how he looked back there. It looked like he caught for six innings in that one inning."

Ramos said he is mentally feeling better now that he is catching. Ramos had missed most of last season because of a devastating knee injury suffered against the Reds in May.

"For me, I've been out the game for a long time," Ramos said. "I know everyone says I recovered quickly. To me, it was too long. I'm excited for this moment. I enjoy playing."

Right now, Ramos is focused on his game-calling skills. He wants to be on the same page as his pitchers when he is behind the plate.

"I love when I call the game and the pitcher feels good," Ramos said. "So I concentrate more behind the plate, concentrate on calling the game and being on the same page as the pitcher."

For the rest of Spring Training, Johnson plans to have Ramos and Kurt Suzuki split time.

"I want to give them at-bats, build them up to nine innings," Johnson said. "Suzuki is fine, but with Wilson, I want to see if he could do it."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.