WASHINGTON -- After having a great Spring Training, Nationals infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa is off to a slow start. Entering Tuesday's action against the Astros, DeRosa was 2-for-22 (.091) with two RBIs.
But manager Davey Johnson said he is not worried about DeRosa, who, according to the skipper, feels he is letting the team down.
"I know he is going to hit. I'm not worried about him. It's just a matter of time," Johnson said.
According to Johnson, DeRosa has been a valuable player on the team. He has been a positive influence in the clubhouse and on the field. Johnson has often called DeRosa one of his coaches. Young players such as Steve Lombardozzi, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond rely heavily on what DeRosa has to say about the game of baseball.
"He pays attention. He is like a sixth or seventh coach on the club, whether it's hitting, fielding," Johnson said. "He has been an outstanding influence. I say that highly, because all the stuff he is reporting to the players, that's what I preached and what [hitting coach Rick] Eckstein preaches. Being teammates of Chipper [Jones] and [Albert] Pujols gives him a little more credibility. So he is great to have around."
Jackson gets his 2011 World Series ring
WASHINGTON -- Early Tuesday afternoon, Nationals manager Davey Johnson surprised right-hander Edwin Jackson by presenting him with the World Series ring he earned as a member of the 2011 Cardinals. So happy was Jackson that he showed the ring to his teammates and members of the media.
Jackson was a member of St. Louis' starting rotation following last year's Trade Deadline, going 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA in 13 starts. Jackson said he didn't know when he would get his ring, because the Nationals don't face St. Louis until the end of September.
"I had no clue it was coming today," Jackson said. "Davey called me into his office and said he had a certain surprise for me. I had no clue. I saw a couple of boxes, and I kind of put two and two together.
"It feels good [to get my World Series ring]. You put your blood, sweat and tears in something that is not given to anyone. You have to go out and earn it, and we definitely earned it. It's a good feeling to hold a World Series ring."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.