Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez, who began a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg on April 7, has moved on to Triple-A Syracuse as he continues to work his way back to form after a neck issue hampered him toward the end of spring training.
Rodriguez, whose arrival in Viera was first delayed by visa issues, struggled with his control throughout spring. But performed very well with Harrisburg, appearing three games and pitching four innings, striking out seven and walking none.
He made his first appearance at Triple-A today in Syracuse’s double header, tossing 1 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking two.
There is still no timetable for the flamethrowing right-hander’s return to the active roster.
The Nationals have until May 7 to keep him on a rehab assignment.
– Going back a bit on what he said earlier this week, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said today that while left fielder Michael Morse will take grounders and do infield work at third base during pregame while Ryan Zimmerman is sidelined with an abdominal strain, he most likely will not start there in a game.
Morse, who came up as a shortstop, has played just eight games at third base in his major league career.
Jerry Hairston Jr. will get the majority of the starts at third base while Zimmerman is out, especially against left-handed pitchers, and Alex Cora will get some as well, most likely against right-handers.
– Adam LaRoche was in the Nationals lineup again Thursday night, for the second straight game, after sitting out Tuesday — reluctantly — to rest his sore groin. LaRoche, who is also nursing a slight tear in the labrum of his left shoulder, is hoping not to miss any more time with the groin issue.