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The Nationals plan to begin the season with Ramos serving as the backup to catcher Kurt Suzuki. They want to ease Ramos back into the workload, slowly increasing his duties as his health allows, and ultimately reinstalling him as their starting catcher.

“The doctors said go slow, do everything slow, because I don’t want to get hurt again,” he said. “I want to be 100 percent for the season. But I feel good right now. I’m working hard. I feel my knee is strong.”

Around the horn

• Jordan Zimmermann said he and the Nationals have made a little progress in their negotiations on his salary arbitration case, but they have yet to reach an agreement on his 2013 salary. Zimmermann’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19 if necessary. The sides are not discussing a long-term contract at this time.

• Left-handed prospect Sammy Solis and right-handed prospect Lucas Giolito are both doing well in their respective rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Solis, who is 11 months out, is expecting to face live hitters soon. He will remain in extended spring training to continue his rehab. Giolito completed his third day of throwing since Aug. 31 surgery on Monday.

• Roger Bernadina will leave the Nationals’ camp on Feb. 24 to join the Netherlands team in Taiwan for the World Baseball Classic.