Wilson Ramos on track to start rehab assignment Friday

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Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Harrisburg, reports Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com.

Ramos, who landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a strained left hamstring, was able to run the bases and take batting practice this afternoon. He’s expected to catch three innings tomorrow and play again on Saturday, which likely sets him up to be activated for Monday’s series opener against the Braves in Atlanta.

Ramos was hitting .300 (6-for-20) with two home runs and three RBI in six games prior to the injury. The Nationals are still easing him back in after he was limited to 25 games last season due to knee surgery, so he will split catching duties with Kurt Suzuki upon his return.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.