Nationals: Sammy Solis To DL, Nats To Call Up Reynaldo Lopez

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Jul 10, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; World pitcher Reynaldo Lopez in the 7th inning during the All Star Game futures baseball game at PetCo Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; World pitcher Reynaldo Lopez in the 7th inning during the All Star Game futures baseball game at PetCo Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tonight, Dusty Baker announced that the Washington Nationals will put Sammy Solis on the DL and call up Reynaldo Lopez to make his debut Tuesday

After the Washington Nationals lost an 18-inning marathon to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-1 today, manager Dusty Baker told the media that left-handed reliever Sammy Solis is going on the disabled list with knee soreness. Taking Solis’ spot will be right-handed pitching prospect, Reynaldo Lopez, who will make his Major League debut Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Earlier today, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com was the first to report that Lopez was getting called up to the Major Leagues:

First, let’s start with Solis, who has been one of the more underrated pieces in the Washington Nationals bullpen this season. In 25 games, the 27-year-old has a 2.43 ERA and has 34 strikeouts to 16 walks in 29.2 innings. He had a 0.71 ERA in the month of June, but he has a 12.00 ERA in four appearances this month.

As for Lopez, the 22-year-old is 4-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 16 starts at double-A Harrisburg and triple-A Syracuse this year. He has 109 strikeouts in 87.1 innings of work. He had 43 strikeouts in his last four starts at double-A before being promoted to Syracuse, where he will start Tuesday against Gwinnett.

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Now, Lopez hasn’t pitched since July 10, when he threw an inning in the Futures Game for Team World at PETCO Park. His last minor league start was with Syracuse on July 5, so you have to wonder how much rust Lopez might have going into this outing against Los Angeles.

Lopez is the number five prospect in the Washington Nationals farm system, according to MLB Pipeline. Another pitcher in the top five for the Nats has already made his Major League debut this season. That was Lucas Giolito (number one prospect), who had a 4.70 ERA in two starts against the Mets and who is now at triple-A Syracuse.

This move to start Lopez was a surprising one because with the day off tomorrow, the Washington Nationals could’ve went another turn through the rotation with only four pitchers. The earliest they would’ve needed a fifth starter is Saturday against the San Diego Padres as Joe Ross is currently on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

The other thing to keep an eye on is the trade deadline, which takes place two weeks from tomorrow. Barry Svurluga of the Washington Post tweeted today that the New York Yankees have been watching Syracuse this weekend:

Next: Recap: Nats Fall To Pirates In 18-Inning Marathon

With Solis out, the Washington Nationals could use another reliever in the bullpen and they have been linked to two of New York’s top relievers, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in trade rumors. William Ladson of MLB.com wrote on Thursday that the Nats have interest in both Chapman and Miller.

Both relievers are left-handed, so that would fill another void if the Yankees do decide to be sellers. However, I would think Lopez would be in a deal for Miller, who has two years left on his deal after this season, instead of Chapman (free agent at the end of the year).

All in all, it will be exciting to watch Lopez’s debut on Tuesday night at Nats Park against Scott Kazmir (7:05 p.m ET, MASN2). Lopez could be a piece that helps the Washington Nationals in the short-term either as a starter or in the bullpen. On the other hand, he could become a trade chip that helps the Nationals land that one piece that can help them towards a deep run in October.

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