Johnson updates Rodriguez, Ramos, Stammen, Jackson and more

Reliever Henry Rodriguez and catcher Wilson Ramos will not play winter ball, according to manager Davey Johnson.

Rodriguez is recovering well from surgery to remove a bone spur in his throwing elbow.

"Henry is doing great," Johnson said. "He was on the bench last night and I shook hands with him and he reached out with that iron fist. He is getting full extension already."

Johnson said Rodriguez should be ready for spring training. As for Ramos, who was seen moving pretty well around a joyous clubhouse Monday night, Johnson said the injured catcher was making steady progress from his repaired knee.

"I asked Ramos if he could squat (as a catcher) and he said sure," Johnson said.

Johnson also said that outfielder Tyler Moore will likely not play winter ball because he has had enough at-bats this season.

But, back to the bullpen. lost in the hoopla of the Nationals clinching Monday was Craig Stammen's six strikeouts in two innings. Stammen has had a career season in the bullpen. What might be even more amazing is the six consecutive strikeouts - and a team-record-tying seven in a row with the John Lannan final strikeout to get the run started - occurred in Stammen's third straight day of use.

"I said to (pitching coach Steve) McCatty I have been using him wrong," Johnson said. "I haven't used him enough. That was the third day in a row he has pitched and that is the best that he has looked. Usually he goes two innings and I give him two days. I have been always trying to do that. His stuff was nasty last night after pitching two days in a row."

Johnson will not alter Stammen's role in the postseason, because of this hot streak. Johnson said that is one of the many strengths of his relievers is their versatility.

"I have that same feeling with everybody out there," Johnson said. "I think the bullpen has performed well this year. We have changed everybody's role a time or two. Everybody has had multiple roles out there. Stammen and (Tom) Gorzelanny have set up, so I feel comfortable in any role I put them in, they can handle it."

With the news that Gorzelanny will start Tuesday night, Johnson did not alter his starter for Wednesday.

Edwin Jackson, and not Zach Duke, will start the Nationals' regular season finale on Wednesday afternoon. If Johnson selects Jackson as his Game 3 starter, he would have six days before a potential Oct. 9 contest, or seven days for Oct. 10.

Johnson said the celebration Monday was one to remember, especially the way the fans were during and after the game, and really all season long at Nationals Park.

"It was fun," Johnson said. "They have been fantastic. They have been really in the ballgames, standing up and cheering, really into it. I haven't seen that here over the years. We really have good fans. I really want to thank them. A lot of times you need the fans cheering you or booing you, it keeps your adrenalin flowing."

Johnson also got the chance to erase a promise he made earlier in the season of the Nationals did not win the NL East.

"I don't have to fire myself," Johnson said. "I slept better because I was still under the gun until halfway through that inning."

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