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Flores not ready to play yet

Feb 27, 2010, 6:13 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Though Jesus Flores is making progress in his recovery from shoulder shoulder, the rehabbing catcher isn’t progressing quickly enough to start playing in actual games.

Manager Jim Riggleman said today that Flores won’t be cleared to play when the Nationals open their Grapefruit League slate Thursday.

“He won’t be playing in the games early on,” Riggleman said. “I’m not sure when we’ll get him into games.”

Flores, who had surgery in September to repair a torn labrum, has slowly been progressing in his throwing program. He’s currently worked up to 90 feet, though he’s still not allowed to throw the ball back to pitchers when catching bullpen sessions.

Veterans Ivan Rodriguez and Wil Nieves will get the bulk of the starts behind the plate during the early portion of the exhibition schedule. Prospect Derek Norris and veteran Jamie Burke will also get some playing time.

  1. JayB - Feb 27, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Mark,Can you get a picture of Guzman's feet? It is the only way to know if he is OK. He will not tell us and his range has never been good so how else will we know if he is OK?

  2. Positively Half St. - Feb 27, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Although they are just saying this now, they certainly seemed to be hinting at it pretty broadly before. I wonder which DL Flores will start the season on.

  3. Positively Half St. - Feb 27, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    If anyone is going to display images of Guzman's feet, I'd like advanced notice so I can look away.Gak.

  4. natsone_va - Feb 27, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Hey Mark. I'm gonna say #33 for Frank Howard and #42 for Jackie Robinson.************************************************Mark Zuckerman said… Natsone_Va: Yes, Adam Kennedy is wearing No. 20 and is the first National since Frank Robinson to do so. The number was never officially retired by the club, but it was sort of held by clubhouse manager Mike Wallace out of respect for Frank. When Kennedy signed, he asked to wear No. 20. Wallace checked with the proper authorities to make sure it was OK, and he was given the green light. Trivia question: Do you know the only two numbers that haven't been worn by any Nat since they arrived in town (among the traditional baseball numbers, I mean, not like 93 or something ridiculous)? And what's the reason neither number has ever been given out?

  5. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    "Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, (and is the only High School named for a Hall Of Fame player), has been named for him. The monument to him that once stood outside Griffith Stadium has been moved to the school's campus. The school's yearbook is called "The Windup" and the newspaper is called 'The Pitch.'"For Strasburg et al: they need this monument and that number in B-I-G HUGE letters … plus stats. Might help to keep everyone humble.I guess no one in baseball can use #44.

  6. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Sorry I meant #44. Walther Johnson: (numbers on Jerseys started in 1931)JERSEY NUMBERS: #28 in 1931, #25 in 1932 (both as Senators Manager)STRENGTH: Speed – most estimates place his fast ball at 97-99 MPH (7-12 MPH faster than most other great pitchers of his time)

  7. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    I meant #42 … keep thinking Reggie Jackson … and his wonderful 1 year stint with the O-ri-ole's.

  8. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Numbers below 60 that have never been used looks like #33, Howard's old number, the other has to be #42 for Jackie Robinson. They should consider retiring #28 and #25 to honor the very best player in DC baseball history.

  9. TBC - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Trivia question: Do you know the only two numbers that haven't been worn by any Nat since they arrived in town (among the traditional baseball numbers, I mean, not like 93 or something ridiculous)? And what's the reason neither number has ever been given out?In perusing the 2007 and 2008 media guides, the only numbers below 81 that were not worn during spring training by someone (aside of course from 42, which is retired across MLB) are 66 and 69. Why that would be, I have no idea.The Dawson/Raines Expo retired #10 has been worn by Ronnie Belliard and Brandon Harper. Gary Carter's 8 has been worn by Chris Snelling and Aaron Boone. Tim Raines' 30 has been worn by Justin Maxwell.Walter Johnson wore no number as a player. As a manager, he wore 25 (Austin Kearns) and 28 (1b coach Jerry Morales). Frank Howard's numbers 9 (Lenny Harris, Bernie Castro) and 33 (Larry Broadway) have also been worn. Although Broadway never played a regular season game, did he? So the answer to your question may be 33 and 42.

  10. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Thanks TBC!

  11. Jimmy - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    I don't understand why baseball won't retire #3 across the league. If it wasn't for the Babe (after the Black Sox scandal) no one would have a retired number. He's still the greatest to ever play the game. No one can claim 714 HRs and 96 wins as a pitcher.Washington be a leader and retire #3 for him and maybe the other teams will follow suit.Wshnats

  12. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 27, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    You guys are correct: No. 33 (Frank Howard) and No. 42 (Jackie Robinson) are the only numbers not worn by any Nats since they arrived in town. Robinson's number is officially retired by every MLB team. Howard's number is unofficially retired by the Nats, as Frank Robinson's No. 20 was until Adam Kennedy arrived and was given permission to wear it.

  13. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    There's really just Killebrew (also #3) and Oliva who briefly were part of the original Washington Senators franchise. Cronin who's number was retired by the Carmine Hose played briefly for DC. Given the new "Strasburg" era it might be fitting to do something to honor Walter Johnson? Let Ballimer and NY honor the Babe.

  14. Sunderland - Feb 27, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    I've been assuming that they will put Flores and Detwiler on the 60 DL, opening up 40 man spots for Livo and Guardado.

  15. JayB - Feb 27, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Hey Mark,Stan's speech to the team seems to have opened a interesting line of questions…."the time for making excuses is over"….that is about what he said right? Did anyone follow up on behalf of the fans and 6 year season ticket holders to ask, why was it acceptable to make excuses before now? Stan has made a bunch of excuses over the past 4 years in my view…I would like him to tell us why he though making excuses used to be unacceptable to him prior to 2010. Stan is so oily that would be a waste of my questions….you have mine already…Tim Foli holds the keys to if this team is going to improve.

  16. peric - Feb 27, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    Why Tim Foli?

  17. JayB - Feb 27, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Foli has a new job….best I can tell unique to for the Nats….I have asked Mark in the past if it is unique to Baseball but did not get a response….yet….He is MLB coach in charge of pre game….he can not be in the dug out during the game. He will travel with the team. I would think he is in charge of defensive drills, fundamentals and effective use of warm up time…..something this team really needs bad. I like to get to the park early when I can and it is just stupid how much standing around and 15 hop grounders with no throws this team displays…..leads bad baseball every year if you ask me.

  18. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 27, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Foli's position is not unique. In fact, Jack Voigt held a similar role for the Nats back in 2005. I can't tell you off the top of my head how many other MLB clubs have the "extra" seventh coach, but there are more than a few.

  19. JayB - Feb 27, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    Thanks Mark,Glad to hear that other teams have used it…..not too surprised to hear 2005 was the last time Nats used it….what was their record that year again and who owned the team?

  20. JayB - Feb 27, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    "Nyjer!! I need you to get the bunt down all the time, not half the time!!" shouted Minor League Instructor Tim Foli. "You need to place every single bunt right on the dime, no margin for error!! You understand?" From Nats230 site

  21. peric - Feb 28, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Fundamentals … gotta love it.

  22. JayB - Feb 28, 2010 at 2:56 AM

    I do love it….long over due…Foli is going to make a huge impact on this team.

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