Results tagged ‘ Ivan Rodriguez ’

Pudge starts, comes up clutch

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez made his first start behind the plate since July 4 and took advantage of the situation in a 4-1 victory over the Braves at Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon.

Rodriguez, 39, went 1-for-2 with a walk and threw out two runners trying to steal second base. His biggest accomplishment of the day occurred in the eighth inning.

With runners on first and third and one out, Rodriguez threw out Braves outfielder Michael Bourn trying to steal second. Rodriguez was surprised that Bourn tried to steal because Atlanta was down by three runs.

“We are ready to throw in any situation,” Rodriguez said. “But at the same time, I didn’t think he was going to run. Good thing I was ready.”

Every time Rodriguez accomplished something on the field, his teammates gave him a standing ovation. And why not? He is one of the best catchers who ever lived. Besides being a great defensive catcher, he is 157 hits away from career hit No. 3,000.

“How many times do you get to play with an icon of the game? He is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He is Pudge,” teammate Jayson Werth said. “I know what that probably means to people who have seen him play over the years. I started as a catcher and I know who Pudge was to me as a fan — just watching him and all those good years that he had.

“You get to know him — the type of guy that he is, the type of person that he is, how much he cares about the game, how hard he works, his preparation — you get a sense of who he is. That makes it even more special. We had five games left at the beginning of the day. He is catching. How many more times are we going to get to see him play? I don’t know what his plans are.”

Rodriguez will become a free agent after the season and he doesn’t have any bitterness even though he has been used for only pinch-hitting duties after he was activated from the disabled list on Sept. 3.

“I’ve got two good years here,” Rodriguez said. “What I see is the improvement that we have. We are getting better each day. … As far as the record we have, I’m very pleased with it. We played hard since day one.

“We play with great teams, we battle the teams and we beat good teams. … When you hear other teams say, ‘Oh, you guys are doing better, you guys have a good team, you guys have good pitching, you are guys are playing hard every day,’ that’s a good sign. I think the way we finish the season this year is very positive. And I think next year, it’s going to be a very special year for the ballclub.”

Detwiler OK after problems with mound; Pudge hits off tee

Left-hander Ross Detwiler hurt his right ankle during the Nationals’ 11-1 loss to the Braves on Friday night. However, the injury is not considered serious, according to manager Davey Johnson.

Detwiler hurt the ankle after slipping on the mound twice in the sixth inning. After striking out Alex Gonzalez to end the inning, Detwiler was seen limping into the dugout.

“He kind of twisted his ankle a little bit. His ankle went into [the landing spot], but he is fine. He will be all right,” Johnson said.

* Catcher Ivan Rodriguez, on the disabled list because of a strained right oblique, took around 50 swings off a tee without any problems on Friday.

“I didn’t swing hard, but everything is OK. Everything is good, so far,” he said.

Rodriguez is planning to hit off the tee again on Saturday.

Pudge proud of son on Draft Day

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez was a proud father Tuesday afternoon, for he learned that his son, outfielder Dereck Rodriguez, was drafted by the Twins in the sixth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Ivan, affectionately known as Pudge, acknowledged he was choked up when he heard the good news about his son.

“Very proud for him,” Ivan said. “He is a good kid. That was his dream when I start putting the glove and bat in his hands. … He told me that he wanted to be here one day. It’s a big day for him, a big day for me. Now he is getting ready to prepare, go to Spring Training and start working hard.”

When he was a little kid, Dereck tried to be a catcher like his father, but the younger Rodriguez often had problems with his legs while working behind the plate.

“He caught for a little while, but he came to me and told me that catching was too hard for him,” Ivan said. “When he started catching, his joints and knees started hurting him because he was growing. So he was catching, bending down and all that. He was always having knee pains.”

One day, Dereck started shagging fly balls in the outfield and decided he wanted to become a Major League outfielder. Ivan credits Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter and former Tigers coach Andy Van Slyke for teaching his son how to play the outfield the right way. Ivan considers his son a quality outfielder.

“He is going to be a good player,” Ivan said. “He needs to do some things on his swing, but he has a pretty good arm, is a good outfielder, runs very well. He has the perfect size. He is almost 6-3. When he puts some weight on, he is going to be good. That’s what Spring Training is all about — just get used to the everyday grind. But he has all the tools.”

Pudge denies Padres a run on play at plate

During their 2-1 loss to the Padres on Saturday afternoon, the Nationals were able to prevent Padres third baseman Chase Headley from scoring in the ninth inning, thanks to catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

With runners on first and second, two outs and reliever Henry Rodriguez on the mound, Logan Forsythe singled to left field. It appeared that Headley was going to score, but Rodriguez was able to scoop up Laynce Nix’s throw from left field, block the plate and tag Headley for the third out of the inning.

Rodriguez was jumping up and down with excitement that he was able to get that last out.

“The most important play is to see the ball when it comes,” Rodriguez said. “See where the runner is, … what direction the ball is coming to home plate and try to make adjustments.”

Rodriguez didn’t give an answer on whether or not the rules should be changed to protect catchers behind the plate. However, Rodriguez said a catcher should sometimes make adjustments when it comes to collisions at the plate.

“Sometimes you have to be careful during plays like that, especially when it’s late in the game.” Rodriguez said. “When someone needs to score, you have to be smart. I’ve been in situations where I was hit very hard early on in my career, but I learned from those things.

“Sometimes you have to be smart to block the plate and sometimes you have to make adjustment how to get outs.”

Nats reassign Norris to Harrisburg

The Nationals reassigned catcher Derek Norris to Double A Harrisburg on Thursday afternoon. Norris was 3-for-15 [.200] with four walks and an RBI.

Norris was a long shot to make the Major League team out of Spring Training. Wilson Ramos and Ivan Rodriguez are currently battling to be the Opening Day starter behind the plate. If Ramos wins the job, for example, Rodriguez will be the backup unless general manager Mike Rizzo decides to trade Rodriguez.
 
If Rodriguez is traded, it most likely means Jesus Flores will be the backup catcher.                
 

Pudge hopes to play for Potomac on Monday

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who is on the disabled list because of a lower back strain, was able to hit in the cage and perform catching drills behind the plate without any problems.

Rodriguez plans to run the bases and take batting practice on the field Sunday. If things work out, Rodriguez hopes to play six innings for Class A Potomac on Monday and be behind the plate for Stephen Strasburg’s debut the next day.

Pudge hopes to catch Strasburg on Tuesday

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who is on the disabled list because of a lower back strain, said he is feeling better. 

He is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, a day before right-hander Stephen Strasburg makes his Major League debut. However, Rodriguez may not be able to catch Strasburg on Tuesday night because of a possible rehab assignment with Class-A Potomac. Rodriguez said he is hoping he could have the rehab assignment Sunday or Monday.

“I just want to come back to the team, be a contributor and win games for the team,” Rodriguez said. “Of course, it’s going to be a big deal on Tuesday. My goal is not just to play Tuesday night and be behind the plate for [Strasburg]. It’s going to be a big night for him, the team and for the city of DC. 

“I would love to be on that stage, too. That’s why I’m doing this — all the preparation this weekend. But the most important thing is to be back in the lineup and contribute to the ballclub.”

Rodriguez said Saturday will be an important day for him. He is expected to arrive at Nationals Park at 1 p.m. ET, get back therapy, participate in live batting practice and do drills behind the plate. 

“Tomorrow is big day. I have a lot of things to do,” Rodriguez said.

Two-year offer was key for I-Rod coming to D.C.

Agent Scott Boras confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that his client, catcher Ivan Rodriguez, agreed to terms with the Nationals because he was offered a two-year deal. 

Boras also said other teams offered Rodriguez a one-year deal worth a lot more money than what the Nationals were offering. Those teams also wanted Rodriguez to play every day.

As a member of the Nationals,  Rodriguez will serve as a backup catcher and mentor to Jesus Flores, who is also a Boras client.

“It was a decision where Pudge wanted to stay there for a couple of years and that’s what it took to bring him there because everybody else was offering higher value on a one-year basis,” Boras said. “[He is OK with being a backup]. The Nationals defined the role and [general manager Mike] Rizzo was very candid about it. We told Pudge. His hope is to get to 3,000 hits.”

The Nationals have not officially announced the signing of Rodriguez, pending a physical. Rodriguez is expected to be in Washington on Thursday or Friday to take a physical. A press conference is expected soon thereafter.

“He is going to bring a lot of information to a locker room about winning, game calling and performing under pressure — all those things,” Boras said.

Rodriguez  has played in 14 All-Star Games and won 13 Gold Glove Awards, most by a catcher and tied for fourth most at any position. The 1999 American League MVP Award winner also has more runs (1,277), hits (2,618) and doubles (526) than any other backstop in Major League history. 

Rodriguez served as a backup for the Rangers after being acquired from the Astros in August. He played in a combined 121 games and hit .249 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 2009.   

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