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08/26/11 12:00 AM ET

Johnson mourns Flanagan's sudden passing

WASHINGTON -- Davey Johnson sat in his office at Nationals Park on Wednesday night, watching the Orioles' postgame show, where former Baltimore teammate Jim Palmer and Rick Dempsey announced the news of Mike Flanagan's death.

"After I saw that I wanted to go home and not watch any more TV," Johnson said. "And I didn't want to turn it on this morning."

Police found the 59-year-old Flanagan dead on his property Wednesday. The Maryland medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

Mike Flanagan.

Johnson never played with Flanagan in Baltimore and never managed the Orioles when Flanagan was vice president of baseball operations, but the two were still close friends.

Flanagan recorded the final out at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in 1991, after which Johnson and other former Orioles took the field one last time.

"It was like a family," Johnson said. "We did just about everything together back in those days."

The pair kept in touch over the years, and Johnson expressed regret at not being able to reach out to Flanagan before his death.

"He was a very settling man. He really had a way -- you knew he was listening to you," Johnson said. "I just wish I had a chance to talk to him. I've lost a lot of people very close to me, and I wish I had a chance to talk to him and cheer him up like he's done for me."

Pudge to test oblique in rehab assignment

WASHINGTON -- Ivan Rodriguez will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with Class A Potomac, where he is scheduled to catch five innings against the host Frederick Keys.

Rodriguez already had a rehab assignment in early August with Double-A Harrisburg cancelled after a setback with his strained right oblique. But Rodriguez swung a bat in the batting cage the past three days and came out feeling OK.

"If I feel good, I'll play, but I have to go and test it," Rodriguez said. "Right now I'm swinging good. I feel it once in a while, but it's not a big deal."

Rodriguez said he would catch seven innings on Monday, nine on Wednesday and make his final rehab appearance as a designated hitter on Thursday if all went well.

Mattheus dealing with right shoulder tightness

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Mattheus left an outing with right shoulder tightness for the second time in a week on Thursday, but the right-hander downplayed the soreness.

Mattheus hit Aaron Hill and walked John McDonald -- the only two batters he faced in an 8-1 loss to the D-backs -- and when his fastball was not in the mid-90s as it usually is, pitching coach Steve McCatty became concerned.

"I told the trainers and doctors I don't feel anything out of the ordinary," Mattheus said. "I don't feel any pain throwing. I don't have any answer for why it's not coming out."

Mattheus pitched three innings between his injury-shortened outings, walking only one. He actually felt tightness on Aug. 18, when he put up too much weight in the morning and had trouble getting loose.

"Tonight I didn't feel any of that," said Mattheus, who expects to get a few days off. "I felt [my velocity was down] a little bit in Spring Training, but I think that's just normal for Spring Training -- a little dead arm."

Worth noting

First baseman Tyler Moore and right-hander Brad Peacock on Thursday earned spots on the Double-A Eastern League season-ending All-Star team. Moore spent his entire season with Double-A Harrisburg, where he hit .267 with 28 homers and 81 RBIs through 126 games. Peacock started the season in Double-A, then went to Triple-A Syracuse after pitching in the XM All-Star Futures game. Peacock went 4-1 with a 3.56 ERA in eight Double-A starts before his promotion. MLB.com reported earlier this week that he will join the Nationals once the rosters expand in September.

Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.