Feb 19, 2011, 12:07 AM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jesus Flores (and Wilson Ramos) are staring over Ivan Rodriguez’s shoulder.
VIERA, Fla. — It sounded like a forceful declaration from Jim Riggleman — “Pudge is our catcher” — and the Nationals manager meant it when he said this morning that Ivan Rodriguez would open the season as Washington’s starter behind the plate.
Truth be told, Riggleman knows Rodriguez’s tenure atop the catching depth chart is likely to be brief. Between Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores, the Nationals have two potential long-term answers at the position. And at some point this season, perhaps by early summer, one of those two youngsters will take over for Rodriguez, who at 39 is already on borrowed time.
Riggleman said as much this morning.
“Whether it’s Ramos and/or Flores, they’re very talented guys,” the manager said. “We’re not going to let them die on the vine. They’ve got to get playing time. So whichever guy is there, if not both of them, they’re going to get playing time and stay sharp. And as the year goes on, probably get a little more playing time.”
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2013 schedule (subject to change)...
TUE: 12:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
WED: 2:30 p.m.
THU: 4:30 p.m.
FRI: 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
SAT: 9:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Granderson, Mets reach $60M, 4-yr deal
- Could Michael Morse return to the National League?
- Nate McLouth gives Nats depth & insurance
- Nats still have things to do at Winter Meetings
- Napoli, Red Sox agree on 2-year, $32M deal
- Nats 1B Adam LaRoche to join USO Holiday Tour
- Carlos Beltran, Yankees agree at $45M, 3 years
- Nationals sign outfielder McLouth to 2-year deal
- Phillies looking to trade CL Jonathan Papelbon
- Mariners sign Robinson Cano to 10-year, $240 million deal