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NATIONALS: Storen Almost Ready, Surgery For Ramos, Solano To DL?

By ZAC BOYER | | @ZacBoyer

WASHINGTON – Drew Storen could be activated from the disabled list as early as Thursday but definitely by Sunday, manager Davey Johnson said before Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets. Storen served as the Nationals’ closer last season and had 43 saves, but Johnson previously stated he’d stick with Tyler Clippard in that role.

“I feel confident out there,” Storen said. “That’s kind of the main thing. That’s what you get in spring training, and I’ve been treating these rehab appearances like spring training and I’m really happy with where I’m at.”

Storen has made six rehabilitation starts, including one for Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday in which he allowed three hits, including a home run, and walked a batter in 2/3 of an inning.

He was better Tuesday at Single-A Potomac, retiring the side in order on 11 pitches, and said it was because at Harrisburg, he simply tried to throw hard.

“You know, I just kind of let it be more natural [Tuesday] and just tried to pitch a little bit,” Storen said. “I was real happy with my command and real happy with my movement.”

Solano To DL? Jhonatan Solano could be placed on the disabled list after the game, Johnson said, after experiencing soreness in an oblique the past few days.

That would lead to a return to the Nationals for Sandy Leon, who played in one game in May before spraining his right ankle and has since been playing at Double-A Harrisburg.

Solano entered Tuesday’s game as a defensive replacement and singled in the 10th inning, then scored the tying run on Bryce Harper’s triple. He is batting .314 on 35 at-bats through 12 games as Jesus Flores’ backup.

Leon, highly regarded within the organization as the Nationals’ best catching prospect, is hitting .311 with 15 runs, 19 RBI, a home run and 12 doubles in 40 games with the Senators. He’s made three errors and thrown out 37 percent of base-stealers.

Ramos Undergoes Surgery: Catcher Wilson Ramos underwent surgery on his right ACL on Wednesday – a procedure Johnson said “should lead to a full recovery.”

Ramos tore the ACL on May 12 against San Diego while blocking the plate against Chase Headley. He initially underwent surgery six weeks ago to repair the meniscus in the knee, delaying the ACL operation.

Johnson said the hope is Ramos will be cleared to play in the winter leagues, but the typical six-to-eight-month timetable would mean Ramos would be available in January at the earliest.

Desmond Out Again: Ian Desmond will be held out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive start on Wednesday because of a strained left oblique. The shortstop entered Tuesday’s game as a pinch-runner after both he and Johnson decided a stint on the disabled list wasn’t necessary.


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