Amid all the negative injury news coming out involving Nationals players lately, there are some positive updates to pass along, as well.
Wilson Ramos told me today he will head down to the Nats' minor league complex in Viera, Fla., tonight to continue his rehab as he works back from a left hamstring strain. Ramos will spend around a week in Viera, where he'll take part in a host of baseball activities, including running, hitting and blocking pitches behind home plate.
Ramos could take part in some extended spring training games down in Viera, or he could merely work on drills and then be ready to start a rehab assignment with a minor league affiliate. Things could obviously change if Ramos suffers a setback, but the goal appears to be to have Ramos rejoin the Nats in a couple weeks.
Doctors had originally said that Ramos could need around six weeks to recover from the hamstring strain he suffered on May 15, but the hamstring has responded well to a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) shot - a procedure in which a player's own blood is put through a centrifuge and then injected into the affected area in order to accelerate healing - and Ramos feels good.
He said the original six-week timetable for his return was a conservative estimate, given that Ramos had already worked back from a hamstring injury this season only to then strain the muscle again a couple weeks later.
Reliever Ryan Mattheus is also progressing in his rehab from a broken right hand, although he is still a few weeks away from a return. Mattheus is two weeks into his rehab and says X-rays have shown the broken bone in his hand is starting to come together.
If the bone continues to knit as hoped and he doesn't feel any pain, Mattheus could be cleared to start throwing in a couple weeks. He'd then likely make a handful of rehab appearances, throw on back-to-back days, and then be cleared to return to the Nats' active roster if all goes well.
Meanwhile, the Nationals aren't saying much on the latest to come out in relation to Biogenesis, the now-shuttered Miami anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to major league players.
After months where we heard very little about Biogenesis, ESPN reported last night that Major League Baseball has gotten the cooperation of Tony Bosch, the founder of the weight loss clinic, and that the league office will now look to suspend "about 20 players" who allegedly received performance-enhancers from Biogenesis.
Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez was one of the players originally linked to Biogenesis, according to documents retrieved by the Miami New-Times. Gonzalez has adamantly expressed his innocence since spring training, saying that he's never taken performance-enhancing drugs and that his father was a "legitimate patient" of Bosch's.
ESPN's report states that Gonzalez "will be scrutinized but possibly exonerated," and cites two sources who claim that Gonzalez only received legal substances from Biogenesis.
Asked today about this latest report, general manager Mike Rizzo offered a simple, "No comment."
Rizzo was then asked whether he'd heard anything from the league office on the Gonzalez situation.
"No comment," Rizzo said again.
Manager Davey Johnson was a little more expansive when asked whether he's talked to Gonzalez about the latest report.
"Not really," Johnson said. "As far as I'm concerned, that's kind of old news. That came out in spring."
The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement today saying that the commissioner's office is in the process of interviewing players involved in the Biogenesis investigation and that "no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed."