VIERA, Fla. — Rafael Soriano climbed the mound in a Washington Nationals uniform on Monday, throwing to Kurt Suzuki in his first bullpen session and taking things slow. When he was finished, at the friendly urging of Suzuki, Soriano untucked his shirt in his trademark style.
Soriano is known to untuck his shirt after completing a save, a symbol, he’s said, of a good workday being done.
“I thought Soriano looked good,” said manager Davey Johnson. “I thought he threw the ball good. He was doing a lot of long tossing. I liked the way he was throwing.”
Soriano, who is one session behind the rest of the Nationals’ pitchers because a visa issue delayed his arrival in camp, threw mostly fastballs to Suzuki and didn’t appear to be throwing at his full capacity. He chatted with pitching coach Steve McCatty and Johnson, and seemed pleased with the work.
Soriano told Johnson he needs roughly eight to 10 innings in the Grapefruit League to get himself ready for the season.
“He’s a veteran guy who knows how to get himself ready,” said general manager Mike Rizzo. “He’s just getting the kinks out today, doing some touch and feel command stuff. Just getting the arm loose for the first time.”