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Pudge Rodriguez likely DL-bound with oblique injury

Milwaukee Brewers v Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Washington Nationals against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park on April 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Pudge Rodriguez was scratched from Thursday’s lineup after straining his oblique during batting practice, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson described the injury as “not good,” though the veteran backstop will be reevaluated today before a decision is made about placing him on the disabled list.

“I’ve never experienced this kind of injury,” Rodriguez said. “It’s never happened to me. See what happens tomorrow. If tomorrow is not better, we need a catcher. But let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Rodriguez, 39, is batting .214/.276/.325 over 129 plate appearances this season.

It’s a forgone conclusion that Derek Jeter will reach 3,000 hits at this point, but Pudge is next in line with 2,842. His role has diminished considerably with the Nationals due to the presence of rookie catcher Wilson Ramos, so he only has 25 hits this season. With his career trending downward, 158 more suddenly sounds like a pretty tall mountain to climb.