PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos played in his first extended spring game on Friday and hit two home runs and a double in three innings. To manager Matt Williams, he saw this as good news and bad news.
The good news was, after missing most of the season because of a broken left hamate bone, Ramos is able to hit the ball right away. The bad news is, just because Ramos was able to hit right away, Williams doesn't want Ramos to rush back to the big leagues. The skipper wants to make sure Ramos' legs are in shape.
"We don't want to rush him too fast," Williams said. "But he is doing well behind the plate. We want to make sure his legs are in shape, so he could go nine innings."
On Saturday, Ramos will play six innings in Florida, he will then have an off-day Sunday. Then Ramos will be stretched to play nine innings. Ramos most likely will have a rehab assignment soon thereafter.
The Nationals are hoping he could start playing with the big club starting with the next homestand, which starts Monday against the Dodgers or during the West Coast trip, which starts in Oakland later next week.
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.