5/4/2014 9:38 P.M. ET
Stammen to receive degree from University of Dayton
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals reliever Craig Stammen will receive his bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton this week. Graduation day is Sunday, but he will not attend because he will be with the Nationals, who are playing the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park that afternoon.
Stammen majored in entrepreneurship and he hopes to put that degree into good use after his playing career is over. He had thoughts of working for his father, who sells farm equipment in Ohio. But baseball made him take a different direction.
"It feels good. It's a huge weight off my shoulders. I'm pretty excited that it's over with," Stammen said about graduating. "I accomplished a goal that I set out to accomplish. I can only thank everybody that helped me get to that point -- all the professors, the people at Dayton that helped me get it done."
Lobaton not concerned after being hit in shin
PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton left Saturday's 7-2 loss to the Phillies after six innings because of an injured shin.
Lobaton hurt the shin in the fifth inning after he was hit by a pitch thrown by Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett. He was down for a few seconds, but went to first base under his own power.
"With a little time off and not moving around all the time, it got pretty stiff. He has a nice little ball on there," manager Matt Williams said. "We decided it was best to [treat the injury] right away in case we have to use him tomorrow."
Lobaton admitted he has tightness in the shin, "but it's nothing bad."
Ramos ready to start rehab assignment
PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos played in his second consecutive extended spring game Saturday in Florida, going 1-for-4 and catching six innings behind the plate without any problems with his left hand. Ramos is currently on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken left hamate bone in the hand.
With things going well in Florida, Ramos will start a rehab assignment for Class A Hagerstown and will be a designated hitter starting Sunday.
The Nationals are hoping Ramos could start playing with the big league club starting with the next homestand, which starts Monday against the Dodgers or during the West Coast trip, which starts in Oakland later next week.
Fister feels ready to make Nationals debut
PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals right-hander Doug Fister made his first and only rehab start for Double-A Harrisburg on Friday night, pitching 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out five batters against Reading. Fister threw 76 pitches, while 46 of them went for strikes.
"I felt strong. I felt where I need to be," Fister said. "I'm a little late, obviously. For the most part, I came out of the game and felt I could go back for another couple of innings. The results weren't what I was hoping for. I feel like I'll be ready [for my next start]."
Fister, who has been on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right lat, will make his Nationals debut on Friday. At first it was believed that Wednesday would be the day that Fister would make his Nationals debut against the Dodgers, but Matt Williams found that there may have needed to be an adjustment.
"We may have to make a little bit of an adjustment given the way guys fall on regular rest. We discussed Wednesday. It may fall to Friday, so we'll see about that," Williams said. "We are still working that out."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.