Strasburg scheduled to start season finale
Pudge to catch right-hander when Nats close out '11
PHILADELPHIA -- Barring an injury or a rain delay, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will start Friday against the Braves and face the Marlins in the last game of the season Wednesday. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez will start in the season finale.
Manager Davey Johnson didn't get much resistance when he spoke to general manager Mike Rizzo about Strasburg pitching in the final game. In fact, Johnson said Rizzo wanted to see Strasburg pitch as well.
As for Rodriguez, he hasn't started since July 4 against the Cubs. He then went on the disabled list because of an oblique injury and wasn't activated until Sept. 3. Since then, Rodriguez has played just two games because Johnson wants his young catchers -- Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores -- to get most of the playing time.
According to Johnson, Rodriguez handled his reserve role with class.
"He has handled it like a pro," Johnson said. "He knows I like to have him around. I like watching him play. I definitely wouldn't call it a benching."
If Johnson departs, Nats may stay in-house
PHILADELPHIA -- If Davey Johnson decides not to return as manager of the Nationals, here are some in-house candidates the club would likely consider:
Trent Jewett: He started the season as an extra Major League coach, which meant he would help the team before game time, but not be in uniform once the first pitch was thrown. After the team dismissed coach Dan Radison in late June, however, Jewett was promoted to first-base coach.
Jewett has 17 years of experience as a Minor League manager and was honored by Baseball America as the best manager prospect in 2007. He had 1,144 victories in his Minor League career. Jewett was once considered a candidate for Washington's managerial job after the club dismissed Frank Robinson after the 2006 season, but Manny Acta got the nod.
Randy Knorr: Of the candidates, Knorr paid his dues in the organization. He has moved up the ladder in the club's Minor League system. Knorr managed Class A Potomac and guided the club to the 2008 Carolina League Mills Cup. Last year, Knorr guided Double-A Harrisburg to the Wild Card Western Division championship. Knorr managed Triple-A Syracuse this season.
Knorr, a Minor League manager dating back to 2005, also has the distinction of managing Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen, Stephen Strasburg and Chris Marrero before they reached the big leagues.
Bo Porter: Considered one of the best third-base coaches, Porter was a managerial candidate for the Pirates and Marlins last offseason. After Jim Riggleman resigned in June of this year, Porter's name was bought up as a replacement, but the job went to Johnson. Porter has one year of managerial experience and that occurred in 2006, with Class A Jamestown in the Marlins' organization.
Werth sits, but right elbow's feeling better
PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said that his right elbow is feeling better and told manager Davey Johnson that he would be available to pinch-hit if needed.
Werth hasn't started the last two games because of a right elbow bruise he suffered in the second game of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday night.
In the seventh inning, with runners on first and third and Washington leading, 2-0, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz tried to pick off Werth at third base, but Ruiz's throw hit Werth on the right elbow and bounced toward the tarp near the stands. Werth scored easily, but was in obvious pain. He left the game immediately and iced the elbow.
"It's sore, but I told Davey if you needed me to play in a game, I will do my best to be ready. He wanted to give me another day off," Werth said. "I feel like I could probably play."
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.