Johnson: Pudge to be back next homestand

Johnson: Pudge to be back next homestand

ATLANTA -- Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list during the next homestand, according to manager Davey Johnson. The skipper needs to talk to the trainers before such a move is made.

Rodriguez, who is on the DL because of a right oblique strain, is currently on a rehab assignment for Double-A Harrisburg. Entering Thursday's action, Rodriguez was a combined 1-for-5 for Harrisburg and Class A Potomac.

Once Rodriguez returns to action, there isn't a guarantee that he will behind the plate when right-hander Stephen Strasburg makes his season debut against the Dodgers on Tuesday. Rodriguez was behind the plate for Strasburg's rehab assignment on Thursday, but there is a good chance that Wilson Ramos will be behind the plate when Strasburg returns to the Majors.

"He is not in top playing condition," Johnson said about Rodriguez. "Pudge doesn't have to prove anything to me or anybody else in baseball. He is a quality player. Even if he is only 70 percent in playing shape, he would do one heck of a job out there."