The Washington Times - July 20, 2011, 02:02PM

HOUSTON — Tom Gorzelanny threw off a mound Wednesday morning and said everything went well in his session and he expected to start Saturday but nothing was set in stone as of game time Wednesday. With the Nationals having two offdays in the next five days, they’re able to manipulate their rotation really any way they’d like.

That’s something Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he’d consider before deciding to push Gorzelanny to start Saturday when he may still be harboring some tenderness in his sprained right ankle.


“On the plane to L.A. I’ll go over it,” Johnson said. “Since I haven’t had a good history with all the pitchers before I came here, I basically didn’t put a whole lot of input into the rotation. But I do a lot of input in when I’m up to speed on who I want pitching, who I give rest to and that kind of thing.

“Not that (pitching coach Steve McCatty) hasn’t done a great job, it’s just that when I get more up to speed on the league, makeup and the pitchers on our staff then I start messing with it. Now that we have off days we have the option to give guys an extra day for some rest or a more favorable matchup, those are the games I like to play.” 

How Gorzelanny feels tomorrow and Friday will determine his status for Saturday more so than immediately after his workout Wednesday as things like swelling and soreness either continue to present themselves or improve.

“We haven’t got all the information on Gorzelanny,” Johnson said. “He threw off a mound, that’s correct. But how’s he going to be tomorrow? Maybe there’s a little swelling. Maybe he needs an extra day? Wait until we have all the information.”

– Catcher Ivan Rodriguez took light batting practice for the second straight day and most likely will not work out on Thursday, an off day for the team. At this point it’s still completely up in the air if he will be activated on Friday in Los Angeles but Johnson reiterated today that there’s absolutely no need to rush Rodriguez back from a right oblique strain.

– Laynce Nix is just getting an extra day to piggy back on Thursday’s off day so he can have three straight almost full days of rest for his sore Achilles. Nix said it’s still nothing to be alarmed about and he wasn’t surprised to see his name out of the starting lineup for extra rest before an off day.