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Posted at 3:48 PM ET, 02/23/2011

Elvin Ramirez, Henry Rodriguez on their way to Nationals spring training

By Adam Kilgore

After experiencing visa delays that prevented them from joining the Nationals at spring training, rocket-armed relievers Elvin Ramirez and Henry Rodriguez are set to arrive in Viera by tomorrow, a team source said.

The Nationals acquired Rodriguez, 23, in the trade that sent left fielder Josh Willingham to the Oakland A's. Rodriguez, equipped with a fastball that touched 103.8 miles per hour in a major league game last year, has one of the strongest arms in baseball. But while he struck out 33 batters in 27 2/3 major league innings last year, he also walked 13.

The Nationals chose Ramirez, 23, with the sixth pick in December's Rule 5 draft. His fastball has reached 100, but he's never pitched above Class AA. In the minors last season, he posted a 4.16 ERA, striking out 8.1 batters per nine innings but walking 5.5. If Ramirez shows improved control, he could make the Nationals' roster despite his lack of experience. As a Rule 5 pick, Ramirez must remain on the major league roster all season, or he will be returned to the Mets.

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 3:48 PM ET
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Next: John Lannan, Jason Marquis fit into the Nationals' spring rotation


"Nuke" LaLoosh

Posted by: whatsaNATaU | February 23, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Steve Dalkowski.

Posted by: seanmg | February 23, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

which came first, the rule 5 draft or the trade with oakland? because rodriguez and ramirez appear to be relatively identical, even down to their age (23). has anybody ever seen them in the same room together? only difference is that the one we actually control (rodriguez) has had a smidge of experience in the bigs, while the rule 5er has never been above AA.

hopefully, the nats don't fall in love with either rule 5 guy and trade away somebody valuable in order to keep them in the organization.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | February 24, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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