After being delayed with visa issues, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Washington Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez has finally arrived in camp and is ready to compete for the closer position.
“I’ve been working hard,” said Rodriguez through a translator. “Obviously, it’s not a big league spring training.”
Even with the work Rodriguez has been putting in, he will need one to two weeks to get caught up with the rest of the Nationals’ pitching staff.
Rodriguez, 24, went 1-0 with a 4.55 ERA last year with the Oakland Athletics. In his brief stint with the A’s last year, he struck out 33 and walked on 13 in his 27 2/3 innings of work. Rodriguez features a power arm and has been clocked at 103.8 in a major league game.
Rodriguez will contend to be in the team’s bullpen, but even more so, if the Nationals coaching staff likes what they see, he could find himself as the team’s closer. He has a registered piece of artillery for a right arm, and it’s always good to have a flame thrower at the back end of the bullpen.
While it is early, the other main competition for the Nats closer job, Drew Storen, was shakey in his first appearance yesterday.