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Henry Rodriguez ready to roll

Mar 2, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Henry Rodriguez, the flame-throwing reliever acquired from Oakland in the Josh Willingham trade, arrived at Nationals camp today and believes it won’t take long to catch up to the rest of his new teammates.

Rodriguez, 24, had been stuck in his native Venezuela the last two weeks waiting for his visa application to be approved. He did, however, throw on a regular basis, even facing live hitters before finally getting cleared to travel to the United States earlier this week.

“I was working real hard, throwing bullpens regularly and working out regularly,” Rodriguez said via translator Javier Castro, the Nationals’ assistant clubhouse manager. “Obviously it’s not a big-league spring training, but I was just staying in shape throwing my sides as I normally would.”

Rodriguez, who will be held out of games for now while he catches up, believes he’ll be up to speed in a week or two. The Nationals need to get a good look at the right-hander over the next month because he’s out of options and either needs to make the Opening Day roster or else be exposed to waivers.

Rodriguez appeared in 32 games for the Athletics over the last two seasons, posting a 4.26 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. A power reliever with a fastball that approaches triple digits, he could figure into the open competition for the closer’s role with the Nationals.

“If they give me that opportunity, it’s up to my manager,” he said. “But I’m here to do my job, and I’m going to go get it.”

  1. SCNatsFan - Mar 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    One of the biggest question marks in camp is Rodriguez; you'd have to think he makes the team, no way Rizzo just gives Willingham away.

  2. Rabbit - Mar 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    This is awful. No audio or video of the game.

  3. Anonymous - Mar 2, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Ssssshhhhhhbooom!!"What ya get Steve?""102 Mike""Hmmm"SSSSHHHHBOOOOM!!"How bout that one?""103 with some movement.""Jeeez"

  4. Anonymous - Mar 2, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Nats up 5-2 top of 5. Berny in CF, is 2 for 3 with a bomb. Zim also has 2 ribbies. Break up the Nats!

  5. Drew8 - Mar 2, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Aubrey, Bixler, Van Every….In the name of Paul Newman, "Who are those guys?"

  6. Drew8 - Mar 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Jeff Frazier?Ibid.At least when he's farmed out, we can say: "Down goes Frazier!"

  7. Viagra Vs Cialis - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    During last three weeks I have been talking to Henry Rodriguez, and he told me he is a quite nervous for this game, but he is gonna try to give an spectacle out of world… I really hope to watch him with inspiration at maximum.

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