Feb 25, 2013, 10:35 PM EDT
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Henry Rodriguez has yet to appear in a game this spring.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Reliever Henry Rodriguez, being brought along slowly by the Nationals this spring following last year’s elbow surgery, is close to being cleared to pitch in games and make his case for a spot in the Opening Day bullpen.
Rodriguez threw off a bullpen mound yesterday in front of team officials and looked sharp, according to manager Davey Johnson.
The Nationals will have the right-hander throw one more bullpen session, then face hitters in a “live BP” setting before he appears in a Grapefruit League game. That’s similar to the plan the club has for recently signed right-hander Chris Young.
Even if he doesn’t make his spring debut until next week, Rodriguez still has plenty of time to earn a roster spot. He’s one of several pitchers in the running for the final spot in the Nationals’ bullpen — along with fellow right-hander Christian Garcia and non-roster lefty Bill Bray — and probably holds the upper hand based on the fact he’s out of options and can’t be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers.
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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