Jesus Flores playing in Venezuelan Winter League

A few of you were asking about the health of Jesus Flores earlier in the week, and whether he’d be playing winter ball to continue his rehab from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2010 season. Well, Flores has turned up in Venezuela.

He was added to the roster of the Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League on Monday, and played his first game for the team last night, going 2-for-3 with a double and allowing a passed ball behind the plate.

The winter ball stint is a good sign for Flores, who came through the Nationals’ instructional leaguewithout a problem last month, and is expected to be 100 percent in spring training. He’s arbitration-eligible this offseason, but made just $750,000 in 2010, so it seems likely the Nationals will tender him a 2011 contract and bring him to spring training. They’d probably have to keep three catchers to put him on the major league roster, since they seem committed to Wilson Ramos, but there’s a chance Flores could be in the majors early next season if he performs well and stays healthy.

Roger Bernadina was also added to the Navegantes’ roster on Monday, and went 1-for-4 last night.