Elvin Ramirez, Henry Rodriguez on their way to Nationals spring training
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.
| February 23, 2011; 3:48 PM ET
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