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Roster review: Jhonatan Solano

Nov 12, 2013, 1:05 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Age on Opening Day 2014: 28

How acquired: Signed as amateur free agent, Sept. 2005

MLB service time: 1 year, 27 days

2013 salary+bonuses: N/A

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2016, free agent in 2019

2013 Stats: 24 G, 50 PA, 48 AB, 2 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 7 SO, .146 BA, .180 OBP, .188 SLG, .368 OPS, -0.4 WAR

2013 analysis: Jhonatan Solano had three separate stints in Washington during the 2013 season, but appeared in just 24 games. That’s because even with Wilson Ramos out for the first two call-ups, the Nats preferred to keep Solano as the backup on the bench. As a result, Solano only appeared in 64 games this year across the major leagues and Triple-A Syracuse. For much of the year he was basically watching from the Nats’ dugout.

The dropoff when Solano started was clear from even Kurt Suzuki as the Nats went 4-8 in games ‘The Onion’ started. He caught 12 games as the starter and batted just .125 with a .296 OPS. It was a bit of a tough assignment for Solano, however, given his inconsistent playing time all season.

2014 outlook: Solano will be back next year, but likely at Syracuse to start the season. The Nats are going to need a backup catcher to spell Ramos and Solano may not be quite the caliber backstop they want in that role. He is solid defensively, but doesn’t bring much to the table on offense. His .247 career average in the minors does not stand out and he’s only batted .217 in his two brief years in the majors.

The Nats like Solano and feel he can be a major league catcher, but given Ramos’ tendency to get hurt, they will probably look for a more than adequate number two. They need a guy who can step in to catch for a month or more as the primary guy and Solano doesn’t appear to fit that bill.

  1. Doc - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    At 28, Onion’s options are getting slimmer.

    Probably should start thinking about a minor league coaching career.

    Given how Jhonatan arrived to professional baseball, I’ll forever think how much being a baseball player means to some of us.

    Wish he could find a place in The Bigs, but that will always seem to be temporary occurrence.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    yep, we definitely need to sign a backup C.

  3. scnatsfan - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    This team needs less onion

  4. Section 222 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Good field, no hit, great nickname. Sitting on the bench doesn’t do him a lot of good at this point in his career.

    Back when our top catcher prospect Derek Norris was traded to the A’s, I remember it was commonly said that the Nats were very deep at catcher with Solano, Leon, and Freitas (who was later traded for Suzuki, IIRC) on their way up the ladder. That was two years ago. At this point, is there anyone in our minor league system that anyone sees as a legitimate prospect who will be a starting catcher in the majors?

    • David Proctor - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Nieto? He’s only in HIgh-A though so he could easily flame out. So the answer is not really.

      We need to go after Dioner Navaro.

  5. natsjackinfl - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    No way does Rizzo go to ST without a veteran backup catcher on the roster.

  6. nats128 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Supposedly Marlon Byrd just signed a 2 year $16 million deal with the Phillies.

    • David Proctor - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Glad to see they’re getting younger. And with a guy who had a career season a year after being busted for PEDs. Hmmmmm.

      • jd - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        My goodness. As long as the Philly owners keep letting Amaro play with their money there is no veteran who is well past his prime who is not attractive to them.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Yah, .488 OPS in 2012 to a career year best OPS of .847 at age 35 shouldn’t raise any eyebrows. (Sarcasm) I would worry about how it’s conceivable from a known cheater to pull off that feat. Sure innocent until proven guilty.

        Things that make you go HUH?

  7. natsjackinfl - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Wow! Roy Clark to the Evil Empire West. Kasten steals one.

    That stings bad..

    • natsjackinfl - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Clark got his start under Kasten so he knows what kind of weasel he’s going to work with.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        future replacement of ned?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        He’s talented and I heard he got a sizeable cash promotion.

  8. David Proctor - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Mark DeRosa is retiring. Hire him in some capacity, Nationals!

    • jd - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM


      Couldn’t agree with you more.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Read my comment yesterday where I suggest DeRosa as the Nats 3rd base Coach.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Ghost of Steve M. – Nov 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Selfishly that’s good to hear as he is more valuable at AAA. A shame DeRosa isn’t available. That guy would be a great addition to the coaching staff.

        Let’s see if Rizzo pounces. He retired so abruptly I wonder if something is brewing. Last week he posted a disgusting photo of himself working out with the Braves youngins.

      • nats128 - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        Come on do tell, is it a crazy coincidence that you mentioned “A shame DeRosa isn’t available” like you wanted to put wink-wink!

  9. NatsLady - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Mark DeRosa is retiring.

    And Roy Clark is going to the Dodgers.

  10. David Proctor - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 51s
    Mike Rizzo said he will be “more reluctant” to give up a draft pick this year than last winter, when the Nats sacrificed a pick for Soriano.

    Good. We need to restock the system–especially if we trade some of it away for a pitcher (hopefully someone better than Samardzija).

    • nats128 - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Here here! I’d rather have Tim Hudson then Samardzija and he costs no players or draft picks!

  11. trochlis318 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Plz go after DeRosa, that would be an excellent addition to the team.

  12. langleyclub - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    The Nats’ 1st round pick will be higher this year than last making it harder to give up Really tough on an organization to lose #1 picks in consecutive years; so, I don’t that the Nats will give up a #1 for a FA. Think this is one (or many) reason why the Nats big off-season acquisition is more likely to come from a trade than FA.

  13. nats128 - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Clint Hurdle is Manager of the Year. Well deserved.

  14. David Proctor - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    I was just curious about the general timeline Mike Rizzo works under. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty typical.

    We signed Werth on December 5.
    We signed Haren on December 4.
    We traded for Span on November 29.
    We traded for Gio on December 22.
    We signed Soriano on January 27.

    So the next month should be fun.

  15. nats128 - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Terry Francona wins the Manager of the Year for the American League. That’s some vindication for him.





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