Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/23/12

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson made a tough decision Tuesday when it came to the closer's job.

Johnson moved Henry Rodriguez out of the position before the 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The skipper said he'd go with a kind of a committee to hold the job for a while as Rodriguez has been so erratic at times.

The Nationals had planned for Rodriguez to be part of their setup group of pitchers, along with Tyler Clippard and Brad Lidge, paving the way for closer Drew Storen to do his thing.

But in a season filled with injuries, the closer position has been hit hard. Storen (elbow surgery) is out until around the All-Star break, and Lidge (sports hernia surgery) also is sidelined. He probably would have been the second choice.

That left Johnson with the choice of the hard-throwing Rodriguez and Clippard, very solid as a setup guy. So solid, in fact, that he made the 2011 All-Star Game.

Rodriguez got the job and did well at times, but the right-hander threw a league-leading eight wild pitches and blew three saves in 12 chances. Johnson shifted him back to a setup role and said it wasn't any kind of a demotion. The Nationals are just trying to get Rodriguez back on track.

Clippard has said he'd love the job, and he got it Tuesday, earning his first save in nearly two years. The question is what Johnson does from here. He might give save opportunities to right-hander Craig Stammen and left-hander Sean Burnett as well as Clippard.

Johnson's other big decision of the day was a late scratch of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, whose troublesome shoulder was bothering him a bit again. Zimmerman has already spent one stint on the disabled list this season.

"He just had a little bit of soreness in his shoulder ... and I said you're (not) playing," Johnson said.

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