Closer Rafael Soriano threw his first bullpen session of the season today, and, yes, he untucked his shirt upon completion.
Soriano is a few days behind the rest of the Nationals’ pitching staff because of the visa issue that delayed his arrival, but the Nationals are not concerned in the slightest – the 42 days between now and opening day should be enough for an 11-year veteran to prepare for the season.
Today, Soriano only threw fastballs and a few cutters, probably at about three-quarters of his full capacity. It was smooth and easy, but not enough to get any kind of feel for how he really pitches.
“He’s a veteran guy that knows how to get himself ready,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He was just getting the kinks out today, doing some touch-and-feel, command stuff. Just getting the arm loose for the for the first time.”
Pitching coach Steve McCatty said he would essentially allow Soriano to dictate his own schedule. Manager Davey Johnson said he’ll hold Soriano out of the first week or so of Grapefruit League games, which will leave Soriano plenty of time to pitch the 8-10 innings he desires.