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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Henry Rodriguez in shape, not quite up to speed

By Adam Kilgore

Reliever Henry Rodriguez is here and in uniform after being delayed in Venezuela by a visa issue. Rodriguez said he's been staying in shape, throwing bullpen sessions and live batting practice. Still, he said he'll probably need one or two weeks before he's up to speed with the Nationals' pitchers.

"I've been working hard," Rodriguez said through translator Javier Castro, the Nationals' assistant equipment manager. "Obviously, it's not a big spring league spring training."

Rodriguez, 24, went 1-0 with a 4.55 ERA for the A's last year, striking out 33 and walking 13 in 27 2/3 innings. He's known for his fastball, which last year reached 103.8 miles per hour in a major league game.

This offseason, Rodriguez was surprised when the A's traded him and Corey Brown for left fielder Josh Willingham. "I thought I was going to be with Oakland for a lot of years to come," he said. With the Nationals, though, he could have a chance to close games, which he said he's not thinking about.

"I'm here to work hard," Rodriguez said. "If they give me the opportunity, it's up to the manager. I'm here to do my job, and I'm going to go get it."

By Adam Kilgore  | March 2, 2011; 12:02 PM ET
 
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