Bryce Harper isn’t the only member of the Nationals who is nearing a return. According to Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said today that catcher Wilson Ramos should be playing in rehab games within the next 10 days.
Ramos was placed on the disabled list on May 16 after he aggravated a left hamstring strain. The 25-year-old backstop had a minor setback while running earlier this month, but Kolko reports that a recent MRI came back clean. The Nationals figure to be extra cautious given that this was his second stint on DL this season, but he should be back around the All-Star break if all goes well.
Ramos showed a lot of promise when he hit .267/.334/.445 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI in 113 games as a rookie in 2011, but a knee injury limited him to 25 games last season and he has only appeared in 11 games this year.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.