6/15/2014 6:22 P.M. ET
Nationals expect Ramos back after 15 days
By Joe Harris / Special to MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is on track to come off the 15-day disabled list as soon as he is eligible, according to manager Matt Williams.
Ramos was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring on Wednesday. The catcher took some swings before the Nationals' game against the Cardinals on Saturday, but he was limited.
"He can still hit and he can still do that type of stuff, and it's not going to affect him too much," Williams said. "We figured we would give him the rest of the road trip to rest and not do anything. We'll start to strengthen when we get home. That will start Monday actually, and then we'll get going on making sure that he gets on the field and hits and getting him in some games somewhere and he'll be ready in 15 [days]. That's the plan."
Ramos has a history of hamstring issues, dating back to last season. Williams said Ramos' muscular build, combined with the extra duties that come along with being a catcher, have factored in.
"It's hard for catchers, because they don't get a chance to run as much as position players," Williams said. "You see the position players go out and they run their sprints and make sure they are loose before the game. Generally, the starting catcher is in the bullpen with the pitcher. So it takes a little bit more effort from the starting catcher to get loose prior. We want to make sure that he runs enough, because generally, that's where he gets hurt and that's where he has an issue."
Williams suggested that some tweaking to Ramos' pregame routine that involves more running might help alleviate the problem.
Detwiler cherishes chance to play in front of father
ST. LOUIS -- Father's Day was extra special for pitcher Ross Detwiler as the Nationals faced the Cardinals in the final game of a 10-game road trip.
Detwiler grew up in Wentzville, Mo., and pitched for Holt High, which is 45 miles west of Busch Stadium.
The 28-year-old lefty was able to spend the first couple of nights in St. Louis at home, and he was be able to see his dad, Rick, before and after the game Sunday. Detwiler doesn't remember the last time he saw his dad on Father's Day.
"A couple of years ago when we were playing in the playoffs, I got to be here for my dad's birthday too, so it's pretty special being around for that," Detwiler said before pitching an inning in the Nats' 5-2 loss to the Cards on Sunday. "My oldest brother has two sons; they're going to be at the game. My other brother has a son and daughter who are coming. The whole family will be there on Sunday."
Detwiler didn't know how many tickets he will end up buying for Sunday's game. The list was still growing.
"I don't think I want to know," Detwiler said. "I'm playing for free this trip."
Even though he may end up buying a whole section of tickets, it's worth it for Detwiler to be able to spend the day with the people who supported him along the way, especially his dad.
"Having the older brother, I was always around the field," Detwiler said. "My dad always made sure I was outside, outdoors doing something, and we would always watch baseball games together. So as I grew up, I was always around baseball, so I learned to love the game and he always kept me around the field, whether it be a Little League field or watching a game on TV or whatever. We were just trying to watch it and pick out the things that you need to make yourself a better player."
• Bryce Harper will take light swings and start playing catch next week when the Nationals return home. Harper has been sidelined since April 26 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.
"He'll be able to grip, he'll be able to do some small things, but he's not going to be on the field taking [batting practice] the first day," Williams said. "It's a process. I think he's getting close though. I know he's itching and I know he's getting close to starting to get the baseball stuff going. With his youth, that won't take long anyway. We just want to make sure it is healed and good before he starts that."
• Gio Gonzalez is listed as Wednesday's starter for the Nationals when they host the Astros in an Interleague game. Gonzalez will be making his first start since going on the 15-day disabled list on May 18 with an inflamed left shoulder.
Gonzalez had a 10.57 ERA in two Minor League rehab starts, but he was much more effective in the second start Thursday, giving up one run over four innings and striking out seven.
• Triple-A Syracuse pounded Norfolk, 10-1, on Friday. Zach Walters hit a home run, his fourth in as many games, and drove in five runs. Steven Souza Jr. had a homer and drove in four to lead the Chiefs. Aaron Laffey improved to 8-3, giving up a run over seven innings and striking out four.
Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.