Nationals catcher Jesus Flores said that Jhonatan Solano is progressing well at Triple-A Syracuse. Solano is batting .293 in 65 games with five homers and 32 RBI, including a .375 hot streak last 10 games. He got to play alongside Solano for a few games while with the Chiefs and was able to get a measure of how well the Colombian receiver is progressing.
Flores said the just turned 26-year old Solano is improving every day on his defense. He has been focusing on blocking pitches softly instead of being too aggressive.
'"When the ball is coming to him he needs to let the ball hit him in the chest softly so that the ball doesn't go to far away from him," Flores said. "He is working on all that stuff that will make him better defensively. That will help him become a complete player."
Flores said Solano is one of the many examples catching depth in the organization. He has seen the talent build up since arriving in 2007 and rehabbing in Florida during spring training with a lot of these guys as teammates.
"We really have a lot of potential in that position," Flores said. "Almost everyone can hit the ball well with power. We have great arms. Pitchers and catchers are two of the positions we are doing really well at finding talent."
Nationals reliever Cole Kimball was in the clubhouse at Nationals Park, now over a month past rotator cuff surgery. He will be advancing from light physical therapy to more intense physical therapy in the next few weeks.
He says his shoulder is a little stiff but he is not in pain. He can drive a car but feels it sometimes when he sleeps on his side the wrong way.
Kimball plans to head to Florida in February to find a place and continue rehab there. He expects to be able to start baseball related activities hopefully by the end of spring training.
He still plans on a return around All-Star break 2012 but is motivated by watching Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg make good progress after Tommy John surgery, even though it is a different injury.