Nationals Talented But Unproven

Nationals Talented But Unproven

A week ago, Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty watched Henry Rodriguez humiliate hitters with his 100-mph fastball, slider and change-up, then declared the reliever’s stuff “pretty frickin’ bueno.”

As opening day arrives and an offseason of intense anticipation ends, let Rodriguez, 25, serve as a symbol of all the Nats. He’s only McCatty’s third- to fifth-best reliever, but he drips talent and potential of a specific type that General Manger Mike Rizzo prefers: unapologetic intimidation. Rizzo wants pitchers who embarrass hitters, hitters who do the same to pitchers and all-around athletes who may someday become complete ballplayers.

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