Wilson Ramos could begin a rehab assignment this weekend

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The injury bug bit Wilson Ramos yet again earlier this month when he landed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but he’s moving closer to rejoining the Nationals.

Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com reports that Ramos did sprints at Nationals Park yesterday and took batting practice today. Nationals manager Matt Williams believes that he could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, which puts him on pace to return when he’s first eligible next Thursday.

Between his recent hamstring injury and hamate bone surgery in April, Ramos has only appeared in 24 games so far this season. There’s little doubt that the 26-year-old has All-Star potential, but injuries have kept him from a true breakout in the majors.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.