Injuries & Moves: Winker battling right knee stiffness

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June 16: OF dealing with right knee stiffness
An MRI taken Saturday revealed there is no structural damage to Winker's right knee. He is experiencing stiffness and expects to feel better after a few days rest. Winker exited Saturday’s 4-0 win over the Marlins after he felt discomfort attempting to get back to second base in the first inning and was replaced by Ildemaro Vargas in left field. Winker was scheduled to undergo an MRI after the game.

June 15: OF signed to Minor League contract, reported to Triple-A Rochester
Ramírez, 29, slashed .268/.284/.305 with a .589 OPS and one home run in 48 games with the Rays this season. Over his six-year Major League career, he has played 872 innings in left field, 796 innings in right field, 312 2/3 innings in center field and 278 2/3 innings at first base. Ramírez was designated for assignment by the Rays on June 7 and released on June 13.

“He’s not a guy that walks a lot, but his bat-to-ball skills are really, really good and he hits the ball well, especially against left-handed pitchers,” said manager Dave Martinez. “It’s somebody that I thought that could really help us here. … He’s going to play tonight [with the Triple-A Red Wings], so hopefully we’ll get him going and as soon as we deem [him] ready, we’ll bring him up.”

June 15: RHP throws sim game
Cavalli, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, pitched two innings in a simulated game at Nationals Park on Saturday. The Nats No. 5 prospect reached 45 pitches. If he feels OK, the next step would be going back out for another rehab start.

“This one was good,” said manager Dave Martinez. “His velo was good. His breaking ball was a lot sharper than I’ve seen it in the past. He threw the ball well.”

June 14: RHP throws four innings in Double-A Harrisburg rehab start
Gray (right elbow/forearm flexor strain) completed his second rehab assignment on Friday. In a start with the Double-A Senators, he hurled four innings and allowed one run (a homer) on four hits and struck out two. Gray’s pitch total reached 41 (27 strikes).

“He threw the ball well,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He actually felt so good, he went out to the bullpen and threw another 20 pitches, which was really good. … Hopefully, the next one will be five ups at about 70 pitches or so, and then after that we’ll see where we’re at.”

June 14: 1B diagnosed with “significant” left hamstring strain
An MRI revealed the extent of Gallo’s left hamstring strain on Friday. Manager Dave Martinez said, “He’s going to be out for a while.” Joey Meneses has been starting at first base, and the Nationals called up the defensively versatile Trey Lipscomb (No. 16 prospect) on Wednesday.

10-day/15-day injured list

1B (left hamstring strain)
Expected return:
TBD
An MRI on June 14 revealed a “significant” left hamstring strain, per manager Dave Martinez. There is no timeframe for his return. Gallo sustained the injury while running out an at-bat to first base on June 12. (Last updated: June 15)

RHP (right elbow/forearm flexor strain)
Expected return: Mid to late June
Gray allowed one run on four hits, including a homer, while striking out two with Double-A Harrisburg in his second rehab start. He delivered 27 of his 41 pitches for strikes. Gray was placed on the IL on April 9, retroactive to April 6. (Last updated: June 14)

OF (right hamstring tightness; No. 4 overall prospect)
Expected return: First half of the season
Wood participated in a full practice for the first time on June 5. He was placed on the Triple-A Rochester 7-day injured list on May 28.

“A little tweak in my hamstring,” Wood said. “... I’ve just been working out on it, stretching it a lot and running a lot. It feels good.” (Last updated: June 5)

RHP (right flexor muscle strain)
Expected return: TBD
Williams will be shut down for two weeks with a right flexor muscle strain. The right-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 1, prior to his scheduled start against the Mets on June 4. There was no structural damage found during his MRI exam.

“It’s just going to take some time, so that’s the positive news,” Williams said. “I wish it was only one start that I was skipping to let my body recover, but unfortunately it’s not that way.”

Williams is 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 16 walks in 11 starts this season. (Last updated: June 4)

60-day IL

RHP (Tommy John surgery; No. 5 on Nationals' Top 30 Prospects list)
Expected return: July
Cavalli threw a two-inning sim game at Nationals Park on June 15. He began his rehab assignment on May 20, and he has made two starts. Cavalli underwent Tommy John surgery on March 22, 2023. (Last updated: June 15)

LHP (teres major strain)
Expected return: Second half of season
Ferrer is continuing his recovery at the Nationals' training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla. He has progressed to throwing bullpen sessions. Ferrer was placed on the 60-day IL on March 24. (Last updated: June 15)

RHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: 2025
Thompson, 26, underwent his second Tommy John surgery on March 1 after previously undergoing the procedure in high school. He was placed on the 60-day IL on March 24. (Last updated: March 24)