WASHINGTON -- Catcher Wilson Ramos, who is on the disabled list because of a broken hamate bone in his left hand, began gripping the bat and took five dry swings on Friday.
"I was swinging easy, swinging the bat," Ramos said. "Right now I'm working hard with my hand. My hand feels good. It's a just a matter of getting my wrist strong. That's what I'm working right now."
After getting the stitches out of his hand on Monday, Ramos started exercising the wrist and hand in a bucket of rice. He also puts the hand in a bucket of ice and hot water, while it gets massaged. Ramos also squeezes a ball to make the hand stronger.
Ramos has had plenty of bad luck over the past three years. He missed most of the 2012 season because of a devastating injury to his right knee, and he missed half of the 2013 campaign because of hamstring issues. Now he has to deal with the hand injury and he is eager to get back on the field. Ramos is expected to return to action sometime in May.
"After last year and 2012, too, right now, I'm trying to do everything right. I want to be on the field," Ramos said. "During Spring Training, I was feeling great, healthy. After that, I was down a little bit. I keep my head up [now], I keep working hard and I'll try to be back soon."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.