Flores not ready for early games

Catcher Jesus Flores, who is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery, won’t be available when the Nationals start their spring training slate next week, manager Jim Riggleman said.

Flores, coming back from a torn labrum, is able to play catch from 90 feet, but the Nationals are having a coach throw the ball back to pitchers instead of Flores while he catches bullpen sessions. And the longer the situation stays the way it is now, the more likely Flores could start the season on the disabled list, with Wil Nieves once again making the team as a backup to Ivan Rodriguez.

“He won’t be playing in the games early on,” Riggleman said. “I’m not sure when we’ll get him in the game.”