VIERA, Fla. -- Though Jesus Flores is making progress in his recovery from shoulder shoulder, the rehabbing catcher isn't progressing quickly enough to start playing in actual games.
Manager Jim Riggleman said today that Flores won't be cleared to play when the Nationals open their Grapefruit League slate Thursday.
"He won't be playing in the games early on," Riggleman said. "I'm not sure when we'll get him into games."
Flores, who had surgery in September to repair a torn labrum, has slowly been progressing in his throwing program. He's currently worked up to 90 feet, though he's still not allowed to throw the ball back to pitchers when catching bullpen sessions.
Veterans Ivan Rodriguez and Wil Nieves will get the bulk of the starts behind the plate during the early portion of the exhibition schedule. Prospect Derek Norris and veteran Jamie Burke will also get some playing time.