VIERA, Fla. -- Manager Davey Johnson announced that reliever Henry Rodriguez is experiencing right elbow soreness and would not play against the Braves on Sunday.
Johnson hopes Rodriguez can throw a bullpen session by Tuesday and then pitch in a game soon thereafter. Rodriguez had elbow problems dating back to last year, and had bone spurs removed from the elbow in August.
When he arrived to Spring Training, Rodriguez had right forearm tightness and didn't play in a game until March 8.
If Rodriguez is not ready by Opening Day, it would not come as a surprise if J.C. Romero made the Opening Day roster. Romero was recently signed to a Minor League contract and invited to big league camp.
The Nationals are in need of a second left-hander in the bullpen, but general manager Mike Rizzo already said they are willing to go with a predominantly right-handed bullpen.
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.