Nationals' Prospect Sammy Solis Ready To Help If Needed In 2014

Nationals' prospect Sammy Solis talks to reporters at #NatsFest in the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center - Photo © Ed Chigliak/Federalbaseball

Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo mentioned Sammy Solis as a potential in-house option if they need left-handed bullpen help this season, and this weekend, the 25-year-old lefty talked to reporters about the possibility of making his MLB debut this season.

The Washington Nationals acquired Jerry Blevins from the Oakland A's this winter, adding a left-hander to the bullpen after admitting that the lack of left-handed options was an issue last season. Xavier Cedeno had success facing left-handers late in the 2013 campaign, and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo has told reporters this winter he thinks the 27-year-old reliever earned the right to fight for a spot in the 2014 bullpen.

"We like the club that we have right now, but we're always open to add to the roster if it benefits us." - Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on the potential of more moves this winter

Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell has written previously that the Nationals were interested in adding another lefty this winter after acquiring Blevins, but with several of the free agent options getting multi-year deals from other teams, they never found that second left-hander that Matt Williams said he would ideally like to have in his 'pen.

"We like the club that we have right now, but we're always open to add to the roster if it benefits us," Rizzo told reporters in discussing the possibility of future moves Saturday at NatsFest in the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center.

"I wouldn't say that we're actively looking to add anybody," he continued, "but we're certainly not going to turn our backs if opportunity knocks and we can get a value, we'll certainly look into it."

So will both Blevins and Cedeno make the Opening Day roster and give the Nationals the two lefties they want?

"Every manager would love to have two lefties. We'll have to see how it works in Spring Training. What we can accomplish." - Matt Williams on the construction of his bullpen

"I think you have to say, like last year, Mike said, 'Yeah, well we'd love to have a lefty, but our options may be not as good as all the righties at that point,'" Williams explained in his own separate conversation with the press on Saturday. "Every manager would love to have two lefties. We'll have to see how it works in Spring Training. What we can accomplish."

The Nats' GM explained earlier this winter that he thinks the organization is in much better shape this year in terms of left-handed options, and as he told reporters, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, the Nationals have several in-house options in addition to Cedeno if they don't add another lefty. Ross Detwiler could end up in the bullpen if he loses out in the battle for the final spot in the rotation, and Rizzo threw out another name. "'You got some lefties like [Sammy] Solis who could go to the bullpen if he had to, if you needed him to,'" Rizzo told the WaPost reporter.

Solis, 25, returned from Tommy John surgery this past season to make 13 appearances, 12 as a starter for the High-A Potomac Nationals, posting a 3.43 ERA, a 3.48 FIP, 19 walks (2.97 BB/9) and 40 Ks (6.24 K/9) in 57 2/3 IP. The 6'5'' lefty, a 2010 2nd Round pick, then went to the Arizona Fall League for the third time, and put up a 2.17 ERA, a 2.48 FIP, seven walks (2.17 BB/9) and 29 Ks in 29 IP over which he had a 0.69 ERA against lefties.

Baseball America ranked Solis, who was added to Washington's 40-Man roster this winter, 6th overall on their 2014 list of the Nationals' Top 10 Prospects, behind only Robbie Ray in the organization amongst left-handed pitchers. Ray was subsequently traded to the Detroit Tigers in the Doug Fister deal, leaving Solis as the highest-ranked lefty in the Nats' system.

Solis has just one relief appearance as a professional on his resume. He was, however, happy to entertain the possibility of pitching out of the bullpen in the majors this season when he spoke to reporters at NatsFest on Saturday and was asked if he'd be willing to pitch in relief if it would mean pitching in the majors.

"Honestly, I think I'm finally ready to make an impact with the team. I'm just working hard, keeping my head down and let the front office make the decisions." - Sammy Solis on potentially making his MLB debut

"I'm willing to be shortstop if I have to," Solis joked. "Honestly, I think I'm finally ready to make an impact with the team. I'm just working hard, keeping my head down and let the front office make the decisions." The possibility is exciting for the young lefty though. "It's very exciting," he said. "My whole career it's been stop and go, stop and go, and now I think I'm 100% and finally ready."

The Nationals, and Mike Rizzo in particular, have talked before about working on moving Solis away from a spiked curve to a more traditional curve and post-Tommy John he said he finally got a feel for it this season. "I think the breaking ball for me was the hardest thing for me to find after surgery," Solis said. "And especially out in Fall League, I really developed it and it really came around and it was my most effective pitch. So, I'm excited to see how that turns out this year."

His success in his third stint in the AFL gave Solis even more confidence. "Third time was the charm for me," the lefty joked. "It was the third time out there and I had a lot of fun and I'm from Arizona, so playing in front of my family and friends, so it's a real laid-back deal, they treat you like a big leaguer, which is a lot of fun, so hopefully I get a little taste of that this year."

After getting drafted, being labeled a quick-to-the-majors-type, suffering the injury to his elbow and working his way back, Solis said he's now finally comfortable and confident that his surgically-repaired elbow is fine.

"I think just confidence-wise, it took so long to get over it," Solis admitted, "but now I feel no effects of the surgery, I feel more than 100% I would say, so I'm excited to see what happens."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker