With Jesus Flores out for an indefinite amount of time, the Nationals are expected to pursue a catcher, at least for the first half of the season.
"That's going to be a tough call, because it's really relying on the doctor's and trainer's information when it comes to getting a timetable as to when Flores will be back," Riggleman said. "If it looks like it's January and he's ready to get it moving, we can go in hoping that he is our No. 1 guy.
GM Mike Rizzo commended Josh Bard and Wil Nieves for the work they have done this season, but would not go as far to say that one of them could be the number one guy if Flores isn't ready.
Flores, who was taken in the Rule 5 draft from the Mets in 2006, has shown improvement over the past three seasons. Although it is a small sample of data, his batting average has risen 57 points with an impressive OBP of .371.
As for options behind the plate, Bill Ladson of MLB.com thinks Rod Barajas could be a good option. He is known for his ability to handle pitchers and has some power behind the plate.
|2009 - Rod Barajas||113||386||40||92||17||0||18||66||18||67||1||0||.238||.270||.422|
The Nationals could look into signing Ivan Rodriguez, who would be an excellent mentor for Flores. However, the Rangers are reportedly leaning towards re-signing Rodriguez.
Here is a guess: The Nationals will give ex-National Brian Schneider a chance to crack the roster by offering him a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.