Henry Rodriguez cleared to pitch tonight vs. Astros

Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Henry Rodriguez traveled with the Nationals to play the Astros and will be available to pitch tonight, alleviating any concerns about the soreness in his right elbow. Manager Davey Johnson rested Rodriguez yesterday after the right-hander had inflammation in his arm, but the ailment turned out to be as minor, as Johnson had hoped.

The biggest story tonight will be how Chris Young pitches and whether his performance has any bearing on his decision to opt out. Young can leave the Nationals for a major league deal elsewhere by the end of tonight. He will opt out if he finds a deal, but it remains unclear how much interest he has generated. Scouts have indicated he would need to find a large park, because he is a flyball pitch and his velocity has hovered in the low 80s this spring. The wind is blowing out tonight, which shouldn’t help his cause.

If the Nationals keep Young, they will owe him a $100,000 retention bonus as of Tuesday at noon as part of a new provision in the collective bargaining agreement for players with as much as service time as Young.

The Nationals again have their everyday lineup.

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Jayson Werth, RF

3. Bryce Harper, LF

4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

5. Adam LaRoche, 1B

6. Ian Desmond, SS

7. Danny Espinosa, 2B

8. Wilson Ramos, C

9. Chris Young, SP

Adam Kilgore covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.
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Adam Kilgore · March 25, 2013