VIERA, Fla. — A few notes on some of the Nationals’ minor leaguers — many of whom have already reported and were taking part in an informal workout on Monday morning at the team’s complex in Viera.
– Nationals’ 2012 first-round pick Lucas Giolito is doing well in his recovery from Aug. 31 Tommy John surgery. The 6-foot-6 right-hander was in good spirits during a brief break in his workout on Monday on the minor league fields.
Giolito had just completed his third day of throwing since the surgery and, so far, said everything was feeling good. He acknowledged, though, that he understood rehab will be a long process.
– Speaking of Tommy John rehabbers, left-hander Sammy Solis was much further along in his own rehab from his March 6 procedure. Solis, too, was in good spirits when asked about how his rehab was progressing. Now 11 months out from surgery, the lefty said he’d been throwing off a mound since October and would likely begin to face hitters sometime soon.
Solis will have to remain in Viera for extended spring training as he continues his rehab but it was clear the lefty was encouraged by his progress and looking forward to continuing to take steps toward his full recovery.
– And one final Tommy John note: catcher Spencer Keiboom, the Nationals’ fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft, recently underwent surgery to repair his right ulnar collateral ligament and is at the start of his own rehab process, according to a team official.
Kieboom, drafted after his senior year at Clemson, signed with the Nationals for $200,000 last summer.
Kieboom got 128 at-bats at short-season Single-A Auburn last summer, hitting .258 with a .362 on-base percentage and .305 slugging percentage. Baseball America’s draft report had this to say on Kieboom before the draft: “Scouts typically lament the amount of catching in any one draft class and this year is no different. But a team that thinks Kieboom can handle the bat may roll the dice on him as he is a sound defender with a good arm.”
For now, any plans the Nationals had for Kieboom are on hold as he recovers.
– The Nationals added one more left-handed reliever to their bullpen competition on Monday, signing veteran Will Ohman to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training.
Ohman, 35, pitched for the White Sox the past two seasons, working to a 4.95 ERA over the two seasons and 91 games. But left-handers hit just .186 against him in 2012.
He will join Bill Bray, Fernando Abad, Brandon Mann and Patrick McCoy as non-roster left-handers invited to big league camp to compete for a job.