Former Nationals' catcher Pudge Rodriguez is recently retired and seems to be enjoying his life after baseball. He has participated in ceremonies with the Texas Rangers and even represented them at the 2012 MLB Draft. But in a recent interview with NBCSports.com, Rodriguez says returning to baseball as a coach is not out of the question.
"Thats something I could try. I might do it later on. Its too early right now, but its something that could really interest me down the road," he said.
Pudge played for an amazing 21 seasons as a catcher and must have some secret to his longevity. And as a backstop he may have the right mindset to be a manager. Catchers call games for pitchers and tend to make good MLB managers. See Bruce Bochy, Mike Scoscia, Joe Girardi, and Joe Torre as examples.
Rodriguez was a 14 time All-Star, won 13 Gold Gloves, an MVP award, and a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003. He has the resume, but does he have the desire?
"Anything can happen," he said.
Key for Ryan Zimmerman was the simplistic act of staying on his grumpy feet for nine innings. The idea had been elusive for weeks. Zimmerman last played a full baseball game on April 27. Plantar fasciitis sent him to this fate, and each time he progressed, an ache pulled him back.
Monday, Zimmerman played nine innings for Double-A Harrisburg. He picked up two hits, but more vital was the ability to play a full game his third time on the field in four days. Zimmerman played Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. Tuesday becomes decision day: is Zimmerman ready to join the team Wednesday or does he have to wait? He'll wait at least another day since he is in the Senators' lineup as the designated hitter Tuesday.
There's a benefit to waiting. Washington goes to Detroit for interleague play this weekend. That affords them a chance to use the designated hitter and a window to play both Howie Kendrick and Zimmerman throughout the series without greatly taxing either.
Bringing Zimmerman back sooner also has the benefit of putting his glove on the field and expanding bench options for manager Davey Martinez. The veteran can be protected in a rotation at first base. The Nationals have Brian Dozier hitting and fielding well. Kendrick hits line drives whenever he is in the lineup. Matt Adams provides a powerful matchup option. This is how things were supposed to work from the start of the season. But, they did not come to order until late June.
Zimmerman's injury has also decided the fate of his $18 million club option for next season. It has graduated from unlikely to no chance. Though, he appears open to coming back at a much lower price. Zimmerman's body has forced him into a position of being a part-time player only, at this stage. He said last week his body "felt great" outside of the plantar fasciitis issue in his foot. Don't be surprised if he and the Nationals work something out for one more season.
For now, the club has to decide when Zimmerman will be back on the field. If he felt good Tuesday following another rehabilitation game, he could be ready as soon as Wednesday. Which prompts another decision: Do they release spirit animal Gerardo Parra to make space? Would they entertain a change for Michael A. Taylor? Something has to give if Zimmerman is finally ready.
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The Nationals are calling up veteran left-handed reliever Jonny Venters to join the team Tuesday, according to a source.
Venters, 34, has undergone three Tommy John surgeries in between his five seasons in the major leagues. Venters entered the league in 2010 and was dominant before his first ulnar collateral ligament tear. Washington signed him May 29, then sent him to Double-A Harrisburg. Venters put together a 1.29 ERA in seven innings with the Senators.
Also joining the bullpen Tuesday is veteran Fernando Rodney. Calling up both will force the Nationals to make a 25-man roster move. Washington is likely to send down Kyle McGowin. It also needs to open a 40-man roster spot. Transferring reliever Austen Williams to the 60-day disabled list would accomplish that.
Washington's maligned bullpen comes into play Tuesday with the major league's second-worst ERA after spending the majority of the season as the league's worst bullpen.
Venters' promotion was first reported by 106.7 The Fan.
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