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Nats activate Janssen to make 2015 debut, send Solis to DL

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Nats activate Janssen to make 2015 debut, send Solis to DL

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.”

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.