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Nats to call up prospect Lopez, DL Solis, as Giolito 'needs some work'

Nats to call up prospect Lopez, DL Solis, as Giolito 'needs some work'

With an opening in their rotation on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Nationals are turning to a promising young pitching prospect and his name is not Lucas Giolito.

Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will instead get the call. The flame-throwing 22-year-old will make his major league debut just nine days after he appeared in the MLB Futures Game in San Diego, Ca. Lopez - who is ranked as a top 50 prospect by multiple outlets - retired three batters in the showcase.

"We called up a power arm," manager Dusty Baker said. "We just thought that that was the move right now."

To clear a spot on the 25-man roster, the Nationals are sending lefty reliever Sammy Solis to the disabled list. Solis has an injured right knee that will require an MRI to determine his timeline to return.

"It's on his landing leg. When it's on your landing leg, it's even worse," Baker said.

The Nationals, though, plan to backdate his DL stint using the recent All-Star break to their advantage. Solis last pitched on July 7 against the Mets.

Lopez joins the Nationals from Triple-A Syracuse where he held a 3.27 ERA through two starts. He spent most of the 2016 season at Double-A Harrisburg and boasts a 3.19 ERA in 16 total starts across both affiliates. Perhaps most impressive is Lopez' 109 strikeouts in 87 1/3 innings this season.

Lopez is known for his fastball velocity which reaches upwards of 100 miles per hour. He also throws a curveball and changeup.

Bringing Lopez up, however, will still require a corresponding move beyond Solis' placement on the DL. Lopez is not on the 40-man roster.

The Nats turned to Lopez in part due to Giolito's uneven second MLB start. Giolito was excellent in his debut on June 28, but in New York on July 7 he allowed four earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.

"Giolito needs some work, especially with his breaking ball and his location," Baker said.

That does not mean Giolito won't be back soon. The Nats, in fact, have a plan in place for him to be Lopez' replacement if needed.

"He's pitching on the same day as Lopez and that's by design. If things don't work out or if Joe Ross isn't ready, then we'll go back to Giolito after he gets some work," Baker said.

Ross is eligible to return from the DL on Monday, but Lopez' callup ensures that will not be the case.

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE