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Back injury sends Ivan Rodriguez to disabled list

May 24, 2010, 12:42 PM EDT

Ivan Rodriguez’s resurgence in Washington has been put on hold because of a back injury, with the Nationals placing the 39-year-old catcher on the disabled list today.
Signed to a two-year, $6 million contract that I criticized this offseason, Rodriguez hit .325 with a .351 on-base percentage and .439 slugging percentage in 132 plate appearances for his highest OPS since 2004 and threw out 4-of-11 steal attempts before leaving Saturday’s game with lower back soreness.
Jesus Flores’ long recovery from shoulder surgery is a big part of why the Nationals signed Rodriguez in the first place, so now they’re left with Wil Nieves as the starter and likely Triple-A call-up Jamie Burke is even unavailable for backup duties because of a knee injury. Nieves has started 166 games spread over seven seasons in the majors, but the 32-year-old is a career .233 hitter with a measly .573 OPS.

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