Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update on Meredith and visas

For the update on Cla Meredith's MRI and his comments, go to

VIERA, Fla. -- It's another beautiful day in paradise, not a cloud in the sky, a light breeze blowing and the temperature expected to approach 80 degrees. Tough gig, I know.

Pitchers and catchers are making their way down to the minor-league complex for this morning's workout, but before I join them over there, a couple of Saturday morning updates for you...

-- Cla Meredith, who had to cut his first bullpen session short yesterday due to elbow discomfort, was seen by doctors and received (I believe) an MRI. The results of that test aren't known yet.

Manager Jim Riggleman confirmed Meredith had arthroscopic surgery during the offseason to remove bone chips in his elbow, a procedure similar to the one Jason Marquis had early last season and Craig Stammen late in 2009.

"Hopefully, this discomfort yesterday was maybe some scar tissue tearing or something," Riggleman said. "We'll know more maybe later today."

-- Henry Rodriguez and Elvin Ramirez, the two right-handers currently stuck in Venezuela waiting for their visa applications to be approved, probably won't make it to Viera for several more days at the minimum. It may take longer for their issues to be resolved.

"It's unfortunate," Riggleman said. "This stuff seems to happen every year. A couple guys get delayed for whatever reason. We'd certainly rather have them here than not here."

Both young relievers are going to be fighting for spots in the Opening Day bullpen, and both are new to the organization, so most members of the front office and coaching staffs haven't seen them pitch in person much. That makes their arrival all the more important.

But the Nationals aren't particularly worried that Rodriguez and Ramirez will lag too far behind the rest of the pitching staff already in camp, because they're not just sitting around doing nothing while waiting for their visas to be approved.

"We have people working with them down there," Riggleman said. "They're getting their work in. They're throwing. They're not going to be behind when they get here. It's just less time that we have to watch them."


Anonymous said...

The replay of the Top 10 3rd baseman show on MLB Network is on now from 10AM to 11AM.

This is the same show that originally aired on 1/20/11 and is not a new show.

Theophilus said...

Venezuela -- 'splains a lot.

N. Cognito said...

The Promotional Schedule is now online.

Luis said...

I vote for Livo for the fan's choice bobbler in September.

Slidell said...

Is it entirely coincidental that both guys with visa problems are from Venezuela? Some political-based thumbing-their-nose stuff from one direction or the other?

Anonymous said...

As someone who used to do visa work in a U.S. embassy years ago, I think it's unlikely the visa problems are because anything political is going on. There are other possibilities that might be more likely to create a bottleneck in one country's visa pipeline, from staffing gaps, to a recent fraud eruption that's got them looking at everything more closely, to a problem at the Venezuelan vital records bureau that's holding up document validations, to the players having assumed their visas were a slam-dunk and half-assing the paperwork, to any one of a half dozen other scenarios. Of course, I have no idea what the actual problem(s) may be, just that political interference would be way down my list of reasons to suspect.

joemktg said...

Once Al Galdi referenced Derek Norris early in this morning's report, I knew there was going to be some depth. Nice.

JaneB said...

N. Cogito, or anyone else: Does "Pups in the Park" mean I can bring my dog? I've seen photos of dogs in other ballparks. I hope this means we get to do this, too!
I love that there is someone here who can comment knowledgeably about the visa issues. And that Meredith may just have a flukely scar thing going on. I hope that turns out to be true, too.

Theophilus said...

I think it is still the case that there is no U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela. While the embassy and consular staffs are separate, it would not surprise me if there was an unusual amount of i-dotting and t-crossing on the Venezuelan side to express the insult to their dignity.

Traveler8 said...

JaneB, There are only a couple of sections and limited space for the dogs, so you have to get a ticket for that early - can't just show up with the dog. Those sections do sell out before gameday.

BinM said...

One other thing to consider with Ramirez & Rodriguez is that they both were transferred from another team this off-season (Mets & Oakland, respectively). That can hang things up as well.

souldrummer said...

@BinM Good point. That means they are basically working for a new employer and that my hang things up. New people writing the checks means more issues for the Visa folks perhaps.

@Mark Thank you very much for the insight that "we have people" working with them. Do you think that these people are folks from a Venzuela international operation or instructors from the big club or minor league system who have been sent down there?

Anonymous said...

An irrelevant question: Is Dunn better with RISP or men-on, or Laroche?

Anonymous8 said...

I remember a discussion last month that someone suggested the Nats could trade for the Twins Liriano.

I just saw this on ESPN about Liriano's sore shoulder;

BinM said...

@anon 13:48 021911
You decide...
Career Numbers (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS)
Adam Dunn
bases empty = .252/.359/.530/.889
Men on base = .247/.406/.504/.910
RISP = .232/.415/.481/.896

Adam LaRoche
bases empty = .262/.320/.492/.812
Men on base = .284/.361/.482/.843
RISP = .278/.366/.449/.815
[Data from]

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

Kilgore posts that Meredith's MRI came back clean, and so it may have been just scar tissue after all. Meredith also had good things to say about the training and medical staff.
Mark, is Dr. Douoguih down there with the team?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Sec 3: I've got the updated Meredith story on MRI showed no new damage. Meredith hopes he only has to miss a couple of days.

I don't believe Dr. Douoguih is here in Viera, but the Nats use local physician Bruce Thomas (who was the team doctor in Montreal and in Washington in 2005) during spring training.

Section 109 said...

How do you pronounce Cla? Thanks for the great coverage, Mark.

Mark Zuckerman said...

It's pronounced "Clay," despite the lack of the "y" at the end of his name.

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