Ivan Rodriguez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained right oblique muscle, said he feels confident he caught the injury soon enough that he should be back when he's eligible to come off the DL next Friday.
Rodriguez was scratched from last night's game after straining his oblique during batting practice yesterday. He said he had to ice it five times last night, and quickly pulled off his jersey after coming into the dugout following batting practice.
"If you continue playing, you can really make it bad," manager Davey Johnson said. "We don't want to do that. He's too valuable to this ballclub."
The 39-year-old catcher is still able to do the rest of his workout while he's on the DL, though he won't be allowed to swing a bat. The All-Star break will take up four days of his DL stint, and the Nationals also have a day off on their nine-game road trip after the break, so Rodriguez is hopeful he'll only miss a handful of games.
"The good thing was, it's not that big. It's not that bad," Rodriguez said. "We decided the best thing is to just shut it down for two weeks - it's only going to be like six, seven games. I'm going to keep working out."
Jesus Flores was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, coming back to the majors for the second time since having shoulder surgery in 2009. He'll probably catch one of every three games, like Johnson had Rodriguez doing.
He went to the minors at the beginning of the year one the Nationals determined his arm strength hadn't completely recovered yet, but Johnson - who was scouting for the Nationals in 2006 and urged former general manager Jim Bowden to take Flores in that year's Rule 5 draft - said he's always liked the catcher.
On his first trip to see Flores, Johnson was there to take a look at two outfielders; once he saw Flores, he focused on the catcher instead.
"Baseball people, we don't need to see a whole lot," Johnson said. "What I saw in two at-bats, the first time I saw him hit, there was a runner on third base, I think one out, the guy had a 94-mph fastball and a good curveball that was (causing) problems for the other hitters in the lineup. He threw him a good curveball, and he hit a long fly ball to center, got the runner in. The next time up, they tried to run a fastball in, and he hit a double to left field. That was all I needed to see. He told me, 'I'm swinging at strikes.' He hit the breaking ball over that way. He hit it where it's pitched."
Flores was not made available for comment.