The Washington Times - August 7, 2011, 08:51PM

DENVER — Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez received an epidural for his strained right oblique Saturday afternoon and will be shut down for three days now while that shot has its desired effect. Rodriguez took batting practice with Single-A Hagerstown on Saturday but will not do any activity now until at least Wednesday.

At that point, the 39-year-old will once again begin to swing a bat and attempt to work up to going on a rehab assignment. Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since July 7 with the strain and has already missed 4 1/2 weeks with the injury.

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– The Nationals top four draft picks: Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin and Matt Purke have all taken their physicals in preparation of the August 15 signing deadline. 

All four picks passed, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said, an important note given the injury histories of both Rendon, an infielder, and Purke, a pitcher. Purke took his physical in Washington just before the All-Star break and also took in the Nationals game against the Rockies with his family. Rendon, Meyer and Goodwin took their physicals elsewhere but all were up to snuff as far as the signing deadline is concerned.

This doesn’t mean, however, that the Nationals are getting close to signing any of their top four picks. Having the draftees take their physicals in advance is pretty standard across major league baseball. Most often these deals are done minutes if not seconds before the deadline and getting the physical done is just one thing out of the way. 

The talks aren’t particularly close with any of the four but that, too, is normal. The Nationals have talked with the representatives of all four (Scott Boras for Rendon, Meyer and Goodwin and Peter Vescovo for Purke) and will begin negotiating more as the next week unfolds.