Manager Davey Johnson prefers to play Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores, the Nationals’ 24-year-old starter and a catcher who is playing in his first season after missing most of 2009 and all of 2010. As the Nationals use September to prepare for next year, Johnson sees little reason for Rodriguez to play over Ramos or Flores.

“He’s ready. He could catch,” Johnson said. “Will you tell me why you want him to catch? He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He can still play. I’ve got two guys that need to play more than he does for reasons that are beneficial to the club. Ramos is the No. 1catcher, he needs all the experience he can get. Flores is coming back from two years on the shelf and if he can regain his shape that’s very important. That’s more important than Pudge getting in the game, playing Pudge. The other guys need it more.”