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Surprise! Rodriguez to DL, Lidge returns

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Surprise! Rodriguez to DL, Lidge returns

By Rich Dubroff
CSNwashington.comShortly before Thursday's game, the Nationals announced that Henry Rodriguez was headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right index finger. Brad Lidge had such a successful rehab outing on Wednesday that he was reactivated a few days ahead of schedule.I did talk to Lidge, and he is feeling great, manager Davey Johnson said before the move was announced.Lidge, who pitched a scoreless inning onWednesday night for Potomac against Frederick had been out with a sports hernia since Apr. 22. He had been scheduled to pitch for the P-Nats on Friday and then be reactivated.Rodriguez is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA. He had nine saves in 12 chances.Lidge has two saves and a 5.14 ERA in seven appearances.Ryan Mattheus went through pitchers fielding practice, and came through it well, Johnson said. Mattheus has been out since May 21 with plantar fascitis in his right foot.

He actually says he feels better pitching on his foot now than he did at any time in the previous two months, Johnson said.Mattheus will pitch a simulated game on Friday and pitch in a minor league game on Sunday.Hes way ahead of schedule, Johnson said.Utilityman Mark DeRosa is about to go on a rehab assignment, Johnson said. His left oblique strain is lingering, but DeRosa told Johnson he can play through it. DeRosa has been on the DL since April 28.

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras

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Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

The Washington Nationals recently released the dates of their promotional days and giveaways this season, and there are some real gems in this schedule.

Among the standard bobblehead giveaways — Daniel Murphy on April 14, Trea Turner on May 12 and Tanner Roark on June 9 — and the highly recommended Pups in the Park days — April 29, May 13, June 10, June 25, September 7 and September 30 — pick the right game and you could get a snow globe, an American flag shirt or even a fedora. Seriously.

On May 24’s game against the Mariners, the first 25,000 fans will get a Max Scherzer snow globe, which has the potential to be the coolest knickknack in your house. Or on June 14 against the Braves — oddly not closer to the Fourth of July — Budweiser is behind the first 15,000 21-and-up fans getting an American flag tank top.

But truly the most unique item on this list is the Nationals-themed fedora, which will go to the first 25,000 fans at the Brewers’ July 26 matchup. How the Nats landed on this promotional item remains a mystery, but if you like hats beyond a traditional baseball cap, this is the game to attend.

Other cool or oddball promotions include the Nats Magic 8-Ball game April 3, the Chewbacca Koozie day May 27, Bryce Harper action figure day August 29 and Oktoberfest beer stein day Sept. 29.

Here's the complete list of the team's promotional days and giveaways

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