Matt Williams talked with reporters about rehabbing reliever Casey Janssen early this week, discussing the plans for the right-hander who signed as a free agent this winter before the Washington Nationals' first game with the New York Yankees.
Janssen went on the DL with tendinitis in his right shoulder late this Spring, but had already been out for several rehab appearances when the discussion took place this week. Williams said he needed a little more work.
"For me it's a normal Spring Training progression," he explained.
"Generally our back of the bullpen guys, eighth-inning guy, closers, get at least seven appearances, more like nine during the course of Spring Training.
"The fact that Casey had shut down in Spring Training, he's got to progress to that point, so that's why we decided to give him a couple of more. So he'll got to Harrisburg tomorrow, pitch there, and pitch again on Friday and then we'll get together again."
"It's a matter of him getting out there and making sure that he's hitting the ground running when he gets here," Wiliams said.
"Because he's going to be in leverage spots.
"He's going to be in the back of our bullpen, a place where he's comfortable and we're going to rely on him."
Reports from his first few rehab outings, Williams said, were that he was doing fine.
"Two more probably wouldn't hurt just to get to the point where he's 'season-ready' in that progression. It's standard stuff."
Janssen threw a scoreless inning of relief on Thursday, giving him 5 ⅔ innings of work in six appearances between Class-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in which he held opposing hitters to a .182 BAA.
This afternoon, the Nationals announced that Janssen was being reinstanted with 26-year-old left-hander Sammy Solis going on the 15-Day DL with left shoulder inflammation.
In five appearances and nine innings pitched, Solis, a 2010 Nats' second round pick, put up a 5.00 ERA, a 5.79 FIP, two walks and four Ks. Four of the five earned runs he allowed came in one outing, however.