There’s positive news on catcher Jesus Flores’ progress in instructional league competition this month in Viera.
Nationals hitting coordinator Rick Schu says it would be huge to have Flores back 100 percent after shoulder surgery.
“Boy, I sure hope so. I remember watching Flo in 2007. He was a Diamondback killer. That guy can hit. He has an uncanny way of getting the barrel on the ball. He hits the ball the other way, battles with two strikes. He has some power. It would be exciting to have him back.”
The Nationals have stocked their team with catching talent with guys like Wilson Ramos, Adrian Nieto, David Freitas, Sandy Leon and Derek Norris. GCL even has prospects Roberto Perez and Andruth Ramirez.
“It is good when you have tough decisions to make,” Schu said. “Just seeing Flo getting back in and playing and throwing was great.”
There was a notable moment during instructs when Chien-Ming Wang got to pitch and Flores made a big play.
“It was pretty neat. Wang came back and pitched his first competition against outside people besides throwing against Nationals. A runner got on base on a walk in his first inning, guy tried to steal, and Flo threw him out,” Schu said.
Flores also made strides at the plate and proved he could be ready to go by spring training.
“He swung the bat pretty good. Flores had a home run in his first game back. Hopefully he continues on getting his shoulder healthy, but he looks like he is on the right track,” Schu said.