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Ramos feels good after taking batting practice

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WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamate bone fracture, took batting practice Friday for the first time since suffering the injury on Opening Day against the Mets.

Ramos was able to hit grounders and line drives, but he didn't display any power. That's to be expected, as Ramos is still trying to strengthen his hand and wrist. He also had some soreness in the left hand, but he expects that to go away soon. Ramos should be involved in defensive drills sometime this weekend.

"I feel better," Ramos said. "I'm trying to get confidence. My swing feels a lot better. I want to make my wrist stronger. I'm working hard in my rehab."

Ramos doesn't know when he will play in a Major League game. Once he is healthy, he will play in extended spring games in Florida before going on a rehab assignment.

Besides providing power for the Nationals, Ramos is a steady influence behind the plate. He is not afraid to voice his opinion on certain things such as pitch selection.

"Wilson has been around this team and this pitching staff long enough to have a good feel for what we like to do on the mound," reliever Tyler Clippard said. "I think he has helped Lobby [Jose Lobaton] out a lot, Sandy Leon and the younger guys. The comfort level that we had in Wilson is very important. That's tough to be without him for this amount of time."

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.

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