[ed. note - "Every Friday this season, hopefully, if they'll continue to have me, I'll be writing a post over at MASNSports.com, "as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest," writers to their site. All opinions expressed are my own... A sample follows... You can read the entire post HERE or through the link included below."]:
"From the start of spring training, Nationals manager Davey Johnson preached patience. Henry Rodriguez, who led the league in wild pitches in 2011 and managed to throw 10 in 29 1/3 innings of work in 2012, continued his wild ways this spring, but the Nats' 70-year-old skipper said it was just a matter of time before the right-handed reliever figured things out.
"Rodriguez's 2012 campaign saw him temporarily assume the closer's role and save nine games before flaming out rather quickly and eventually, after a series of setbacks and injuries, end up going under the knife for the first time in his career. When he returned to the mound this spring and continued to struggle to throw strikes, Johnson said that it was unfair to judge the reliever who was behind other pitchers in terms of preparation for the season.
"'He missed half of last year and then all winter ball,' Johnson explained during spring camp. 'And early in the spring, we couldn't get him on the mound because of medical restrictions. So he has not been afforded the opportunity everybody else in the bullpen or on the ballclub had all spring. His has been more of a short spring.' Yes, he continued to have command issues, the Nats skipper admitted, but there were signs of improvement and the velocity was there. 'He's throwing 98 (mph),' Johnson joked, 'it just ain't going over.'"
• You can read the entire post about the Nats' hard-throwing reliever over at MASNSports.com through this link RIGHT HERE.
• Further Reading:
Henry Rodriguez learning to trust all of his pitches and Johnson noticing masnsports.com/byron_kerr/201…— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) April 24, 2013
Henry Rodriguez calmer, dialing back velo & it's worked. "I want to feel that I’m in control & not throwing so hard." wapo.st/YZSD9d— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) April 26, 2013