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UPDATE: Janssen activated, Solis placed on DL

May 22, 2015, 2:22 PM EST

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Updated at 6:41 p.m.

The Nationals made their long-anticipated move to activate Casey Janssen off the disabled list Friday, bolstering their bullpen with an experienced reliever but forcing them to place rookie Sammy Solis on the DL with his own shoulder ailment.

Janssen, who pitched six games during a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac and Class AA Harrisburg, is active and available out of the bullpen for Friday night’s series opener against the Phillies. The 33-year-old was signed to a guaranteed $3.5 million over the winter to serve as the club’s new setup man after Tyler Clippard’s trade to Oakland, but manager Matt Williams may want to ease him into that role.

“It depends on what the game provides,” Williams said. “We just don’t know. For me to sit here today and say we’re going to pitch him in this position, it wouldn’t make any sense. We’ll see what it provides for us on any given day. But he certainly has experience. He’s been there and done that. No moment would be too big for him, even coming off the DL. He’s been there before.”

Janssen missed the season’s first seven weeks with tendinitis in his right shoulder, frustrated to watch as the Nationals’ inexperienced bullpen struggled early on before righting itself over the last month.

“Yeah, it was tough,” the 33-year-old former Blue Jays closer said. “I said to some people that those games that we lost early on that were late, I took it hard on myself because I should’ve been the guy in that situation, and I should’ve been the one getting that loss or pitching well enough where we didn’t have to have that struggle. But guys pitched great. I think they’re all better for it now, pitching in tight games, and hopefully we’ve got a good thing going now.”

Janssen’s debut comes at the expense of Solis, who heads to the 15-day DL with inflammation in his left shoulder. The 26-year-old made his major-league debut April 30 against Mets and had pitched well in five appearances.

That workload, though, might have been a bit too much for Solis, a former starter who had only switched to a relief role this season. Solis wasn’t available to pitch earlier this week in the Nationals’ series against the Yankees.

“He’s in a new role, which is different than what he’s used to,” Williams said. “Just more volume, more often, may result in some soreness. We just want to make sure we calm it down as much as possible. And the fact Casey’s ready, it makes it a natural move for us.”

  1. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Re ‘power rankings’ (previous thread), I just realized that numbers 1 and 2 are playing each other this weekend. That should be a fun series.

  2. natsguy1 - May 22, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Wait, Solis is injured again already, after just 9 innings? Holy cow. Just when you hoped he had somehow found a role that suited him. I’m trying to envision what kind of mayhem and destruction would happen in an arm wrestling match between Solis and Christian Garcia.

    • Jfmii - May 22, 2015 at 3:14 PM

      Is that necessary? These guys are not machines, and this is their livelihood

      • natsguy1 - May 22, 2015 at 3:33 PM

        This wasn’t intended to be a criticism of either, just an attempted humorous expression of the frustration I think we all feel when guys are injury prone. It stinks for everybody.

  3. janebeard - May 22, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    Hard luck for Sammy! I hope he mends well and fast.

  4. SFNatsFan - May 22, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Is this an injury, or is this an “injury”?

    Although, Solis still has options, no reason why they couldn’t just have sent him down. So this is probably a real injury. Sigh.

    • ITGSOT - May 22, 2015 at 5:34 PM

      Maybe they wanted to do him a favor and let him collect a major league salary while he’s on the DL.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 5:45 PM

        That’s about $20 large per day, ftr.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 5:48 PM

        Wait, that can’t be right …

  5. natsfan1a - May 22, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Welcome to Janssen and good health to Solis.

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