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Ivan Rodriguez to miss time with sore back

After leaving in the middle of yesterday's game, catcher Ivan Rodriguez will miss at least a few days with tenderness in his lower back. Rodriguez has dealt with ongoing back pain since the beginning of the season. It started as discomfort from sleeping on a new bed in spring training.

The Nationals assumed Rodriguez had moved past that pain, but lately he confronted more aggravation. After one swing yesterday, Rodriguez grimaced and was visited by Nationals training staff. He finished the at-bat but did then did not return. Manager Jim Riggleman does not yet considered Rodriguez landing on the disabled list a likelihood.

"As a manager, you're always concerned about everything," Riggleman said. "I'm not ready to say that yet. But I know I'm not counting on catching him for a few days."

Mike Morse is the first candidate to back up Wil Nieves and catch in an emergency. Adam Kennedy and Alberto Gonzalez could also assume the duty. Morse started learning how to catch when he played for the Seattle Mariners, practicing with utility player Willie Bloomquist. This spring, Morse caught a few of Livan Hernandez's bullpen sessions.

"Being a utility player, you're always messing around with that stuff," Morse said. "If I'm in the game to catch, I'm back there just to receive. I'm not back there to make any super plays."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 23, 2010; 12:57 PM ET
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Next: With Scott Olsen out, opportunities for Justin Maxwell, maybe J.D. Martin


If Pudge goes down for a 4-5 game stretch, it raises the question regarding the health/availability of Chris Coste; Is he close to activation, or is the team just carrying a salary?

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

WOW, I forgot about him.....

Posted by: hansenjo | May 24, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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