Ramos could return to Nationals by weekend

Ramos could return to Nationals by weekend

WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos caught nine innings for Double-A Harrisburg and went 0-for-4 in its 8-2 loss at home Monday night against Richmond, the latest step in his Minor League rehab assignment.

Ramos, out since suffering a left hamate fracture on Opening Day, spent time at extended spring camp in Viera, Fla., then played for Class A Hagerstown on Sunday. He served as the designated hitter and went 2-for-3 with a home run.

The Nats wanted to see Ramos get through nine innings behind the plate, with his left hand taking the pounding from catching pitch after pitch. If there are no setbacks, Ramos would stay on track to return sometime this week. Manager Matt Williams indicated that could be as soon as Friday, when the Nats begin a series in Oakland after an off-day.

"Catch nine innings and see where he is after that, that he feels good," Williams said. "Ultimately we would love for him to run the bases more, but the problem is he's been hitting them over the fence. That's a hard one. You'd like him to go first to third or try to score from first and make sure that he's done all those things that you normally do."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.