VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang was scheduled to throw batting practice Friday, but it was pushed back until Saturday because the team is lining him up to pitch three days later in an intrasquad Minor League game.
More than a week ago, Wang said he most likely would be ready to pitch in a Major League game in late April or sometime in May. However, Wang has changed his tune. His right shoulder feels so much better that he is hoping to be on the Opening Day roster.
Wang pointed out that if he had a bullpen session last year, he would have to wait at least five days to throw again. This spring, he can throw every other day.
2010 Spring Training - Major League Baseball
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Wang is trying to make a comeback after missing more than a year because of shoulder problems. Once Wang has fully recovered, the Nats are hoping he can be the pitcher that won a combined 38 games for the Yankees in 2006 and '07.
Righty Rodriguez's arrival nears
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Henry Rodriguez is expected to report to Spring Training on Saturday. He has missed most of the team's workouts because of visa problems.
Once in camp, Rodriguez, who was acquired from the Athletics in the Josh Willingham trade, most likely will have several bullpen sessions and pitch batting practices before playing in an exhibition game.
Rodriguez, who doesn't have any options left, will compete with Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett for the closer role.
Reliever Meredith suffers another injury
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Cla Meredith experienced back problems during fielding drills Friday. He is listed as day-to-day and most likely will not be ready to pitch when the exhibition season starts Monday against the Mets.
This is the second injury Meredith has suffered this spring. The first came last week when he injured his right elbow during a bullpen session. The MRI didn't find any structural damage, and Meridith was hoping that it was scar tissue breaking up inside the elbow.
Meredith, who had minor elbow surgery to remove bone chips last season, signed a Minor League deal with Washington. Meredith allowed nine earned runs in 15 innings for Baltimore last season before becoming a free agent.
Rotation set for first five games
VIIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has decided on his rotation for the team's first five Spring Training games.
Chad Gaudin will start the Grapefruit League opener against the Mets on Monday, followed by Livan Hernandez, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann and Jason Marquis.
Hernandez, who will be the Opening Day starter, and Lannan, Zimmermann and Marquis are locks to be in the rotation, while Gaudin will battle six pitchers for the fifth spot in the rotation. Gaudin will pitch two innings against New York.
Club has plenty of talent behind plate
VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals are suddenly loaded with quality catchers, including Ivan Rodriguez, Jesus Flores, Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris. The club is not thinking about having one or two of that quartet change positions.
Washington most likely will trade one of the catchers for pitching. It could happen before the regular season starts. The leading candidate could be Flores, who is fully recovered from right shoulder surgery. On Friday, Flores was seen throwing the ball hard to second and third base.
Rodriguez will start the season as the Opening Day catcher, while Ramos is consider the team's backstop of the future. Norris most likely will start the season in the Minors. According to many in the organization, Norris already has a big league bat, but needs work behind the plate.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.