VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals catchers Jesus Flores and Wilson Ramos became good friends last season. One can imagine Flores' reaction when he learned that Ramos was abducted from the front yard of his mother's home outside of Valencia, Venezuela. Ramos was rescued by Venezuelan authorities after a 15-minute gunfight two days later.
"When that happened, I was in shock, I was really sad and really baffled," Flores said about Ramos' kidnapping. "I tried to call his mother and sister, trying to get to know what was the situation. When I saw him, [and he was] free and we knew there was nothing wrong, no damage -- that was good news. We cried when we saw each other. We really had a good time last year [in Washington]. For him to be through that situation, it wasn't fun."
Flores, was carjacked in Venezuela two years ago, said he uses a bodyguard when he plays winter ball in Venezuela or visits his family, but that does not mean he will be protected.
"[I'm] not really going out or doing too much on the street because of the situation. ... We're now playing scared. Just try to go to the ballpark and back home and take it easy," Flores said. "If you're going somewhere, just try to be safe, make sure people know where you're going."
Flores confident he can play every day
VIERA, Fla. -- Catcher Jesus Flores enters the 2012 season as the Nationals' backup catcher behind Wilson Ramos, but talk to Flores and he is confident that he can still be an everyday player.
It helped that he played well for Navegantes del Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .330 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs.
"I don't feel like [I'm a backup catcher] right now," Flores said. "I still have a future [as an everyday player]. I'm still young for a catcher. Let's see. That's not my dream to be a backup catcher. Right now, I'm where I am and I just need to do my job."
Asked if he was thinking about going to general manager Mike Rizzo to request a trade, Flores said, "That is not on my mind either. I'm going to look for another opportunity, another chance to be [a regular] catcher either here, I don't know. Right now, I'm focused on having a good Spring Training and we go from there."
Playing every day is nothing new to Flores. On May 9, 2009, he was Washington's No. 1 catcher when he was hit on the right shoulder by a Chris Young foul tip in Phoenix. Flores would miss over two years of action because of the injury.
By the time Flores returned to the big leagues last season, Ramos already emerged as one of the top young catchers.
Kimball rehabbing in camp, is day to day
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Cole Kimball has been in Spring Training since Jan. 10 rehabbing his injured shoulder. He is able to play catch from 100 feet, however he is not expected to play in a big-league game until after the All-Star break.
In July, Kimball had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Kimball, 26, was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 12 relief appearances with the Nationals.
"The shoulder is getting there," Kimball said. "I don't know when I'll be back. I'm going day by day. When I get back, I get back."
Kimball had an interesting month of November. He was claimed by the Blue Jays, but the Nationals reclaimed him two days later. What was Kimball's reaction to the offseason moves?
"It was business move and that's all it was," Kimball said. "Somebody wanted me. The Blue Jays wanted to make a business move and the Nationals grabbed me back. It was really an attempt at a business move -- trying to get a roster spot. You can't be mad."
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.