LOS ANGELES -- According to a baseball source, the Nationals need outfield depth more than anything in the infield and behind the plate.
The source pointed out that the team doesn't have the outfielders in the Minor Leagues who are close to being ready for big league action. Outfielder Bryce Harper, for example, most likely will not be ready for big league action until during the second half of the 2012 season.
It's not a secret to that the Nationals are looking for a center fielder and a leadoff hitter. Another baseball source insisted that general manager Mike Rizzo would love to have Rays center fielder B.J. Upton. It's not known if the Rays and the Nationals have had serious talks.
It is known that the Rays have interest in shortstop Ian Desmond, who has been spectacular defensively but struggled with the bat.
Pudge suffers oblique setback, heads to Miami
LOS ANGELES -- Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez was hoping to be activated from the disabled list this weekend, but he continues to have problems with his right oblique.
While in Houston, Rodriguez took batting practice twice and still felt pain in the oblique. In one session, Rodriguez had to quit because he was in such pain.
Rodriguez will now go to Miami this weekend and work with a physical therapist, who is employed by the NBA's Miami Heat. Rodriguez plans to stay in Miami for at least a week.
"[The injury] is not letting up. He is going to back off and get some physical therapy," manager Davey Johnson. "Hopefully, the therapist can relieve some of the tightness in there."
In the meantime, catcher Jesus Flores will continue to be the backup catcher. Johnson acknowledged that Flores' arm is weaker than what it was before he missed more than two years after a foul tip off the bat of D-backs outfielder Chris Young hit Flores in the right shoulder.
Before Friday's game against the Dodgers, Flores was working on his throwing with bench coach Pat Corrales. Flores will work on strengthening his arm when he is not playing. Flores is expected to play Sunday afternoon against Los Angeles. Johnson said Flores will play once every third game.
Nats not worried about Coffey's recent woes
LOS ANGELES -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he is not concerned about reliever Todd Coffey even though he has allowed 13 runs in his last 17 innings since June 1.
Johnson believes Coffey is throwing the ball well but has left a few balls up in the strike zone. Johnson said that Coffey is not being hit hard.
"It's not like the balls were scalded," Johnson said. "They just found the grass."
Nats manager Johnson recalls time in LA
LOS ANGLES -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson managed the Dodgers in 1999 and 2000, going 163-161. He said his biggest disappointment was that the team didn't have talent in the Minor Leagues to help the big league club.
Johnson pointed out that Los Angeles needed to trade veterans to get what he wanted.
"We had to trade Raul Mondesi to get a left-handed bat in the lineup. We were predominately right-handed," Johnson said. "We needed left-handed pitchers, too, because [the D-backs] had a bunch of left-handed hitters. I thought I was making progress, but I didn't last long enough to make a difference."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.