Apr 15, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Henry Rodriguez (63) throws in the tenth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
"Henry [Rodriguez] has been playing with a bad finger for about a week since he slammed his finger in the door," D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier in an interview at Nationals Park this afternoon before today's series finale with New York. The Nats' 25-year-old right-hander pitched once after reportedly slamming his finger in a bathroom door, in the first game of the current three-game set with the Mets, allowing a run to score when he threw a wild pitch with a runner on third. "I saw a guy [Tuesday] night," the GM said when asked this morning how long the team would stick with the struggling reliever, "when he pitched in the game against the Mets, he threw the ball well. A broken bat single. A wild pitch. And a couple of softly hit balls and they scored a run. This is a -year-old guy that's got stuff off the charts. We're going to extremely patient with this guy and this guy is going to be a terrific, major league, back of the bullpen guy in the very, very near future."
"[Rodriguez] came in, remember, as a seventh inning guy for us out of Spring Training and was thrown into a ninth inning role extremely quickly," the Nats' general manager told the hosts. "No one expected [Drew] Storen to go down and [Brad] Lidge to go down, our two closers that we felt very comfortable with before the season started. And all [Rodriguez] did when he was thrown in quickly was [go] 9 for 12 in save opportunities, then had some struggles for sure with his command, but you give up on these guys too quick and they turn out to be Joel Hanrahan on you and it makes you look pretty bad."
The Nationals aren't ready to give up on Henry Rodriguez, but they did place him on the 15-Day DL with a "strained right index finger," while reinstating 35-year-old veteran reliever Brad Lidge. Lidge, who underwent an "abdominal surgery", missed the last 38 games, but he pitched two games with the High-A Potomac Nationals before he was reinstated this afternoon.
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