Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Solano likely headed to DL

Having already seen four of their catchers miss time due to injuries this season, the Nationals are about to add a fifth name to the list.

Jhonatan Solano will likely be placed on the disabled list following tonight's game with a strained oblique muscle, manager Davey Johnson said today.

Solano has been dealing with the injury since he last played, Sunday in Miami. Jesus Flores is in the Nationals' lineup tonight for the third straight day, and with a 12:35 p.m. start scheduled tomorrow, the club is going to need a healthy backup catcher to give Flores a break.

That catcher is expected to be Sandy Leon, who joined the Nationals May 14 after Opening Day starter Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee but then suffered a high ankle sprain four innings into his major-league debut. Leon has since recovered and is currently hitting .313 at Class AA Harrisburg.

Solano's injury is a tough blow for the 26-year-old rookie, who has acquitted himself well since making his big-league debut May 29 (after veteran Carlos Maldonado went on the DL with a back strain) and has .314 with two homers and six RBI in 12 games.

It's also a tough blow for a Nationals club that has had to rely on Flores to carry the load behind the plate with Ramos (who finally had surgery to repair the ACL tear today) out for the season.

Flores is hitting .229 with a .267 on-base percentage overall and has been mired in a month-long slump, with only three hits in his last 29 at-bats. He spoke with Johnson earlier today, and the manager came away convinced the slump isn't a byproduct of overuse but of Flores putting too much pressure on himself to perform.

"He expects a lot out of himself," Johnson said. "He's gone through a little slump here, and he's putting more pressure on himself than he needs. He calls a great game. He's outstanding behind the dish catching the best staff in baseball and helping them along. I said: 'Your importance [defensively] is more important than what you do offensively. Just quit grinding and punishing yourself as much as you do and try to relax and enjoy it a little bit more.

"He's certainly got the ability to hit and not worry about it. I'm not as worried as he is. Hopefully he'll lighten up and relax and quit pressing."

13 comments:

MicheleS said...

Hope the Onion heals and is back in September.

JFlo, stop beating yourself up. We are in 1st place and have the best staff in MLB. A lot of the credit for that goes to you.

Frediemac said...

Didn't stop him from getting a hit and scoring last night. Baseball players are so frikcing brittle.

Frediemac said...

Fricking....LOL

NatsFanSinceStart said...

What is with all of these oblique strains and pulls? I've seen so many by a factor of 10.

ehay2k said...

Prefer players with oblique strains to the strain some obtuse erstwhile players put on me!

natsfan1a said...

Bummer for the Onion. We're tough on catchers up here, eh? Take care and hope to see you again.

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

Did they say which oblique muscle?

realdealnats said...

I love the message of patience and understanding Davey so often conveys to his players who are simply trying too hard. And the way he punctuates these messages in his post game comments with a refreshing honesty and directness that lets everyone know he's watching closely too. He makes is all seem so easy on the surface, but underneath is always the masterful directorial hand at work: soothing, cajoling, protecting, instructing, challenging. As much as anyone on the team, he has made this year the miracle it has been. Kinda like going to heaven on a swing...

phil dunton said...

Desmond is likely right behind Solano.

mick said...

whatever... he s the only catcher that can hit

peric said...

Did they say which oblique muscle?

Its why we saw Leon instead of Solano earlier ... he was having problems way back then and was on the Syracuse DL. It won't go away until it gets
complete rest away from playing.

SonnyG10 said...

Oh, yeah, I remember Solano was on the DL earlier. I like that Leon gets another shot, but hate to lose Solano to do so.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Seriously, does anyone know which oblique muscle Solano hurt? His abdomen, or one of his sides? Enquiring minds, an' a' that...

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