High Single-A Potomac Nationals left-hander Sammy Solis made a nice step forward in his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Building off his start at Frederick, Solis went four innings Monday night against Salem, allowing no hits, no runs and three walks while striking out four. He struck out the side in the third.
If his week goes well, including bullpen sessions, Solis would probably be able to go to five innings and 60-65 pitches in his third start. He is on an innings limit this season, and that should take care of itself because he didn't get back into a game until late May.
According to my source on the ground, "Solis pounded the zone. He didn't miss badly on the walks, was just trying to be a little too fine on the outside corner and was trying to work in all his pitches. He had quick cadence through the first three innings, but labored a bit and slowed things down in the fourth inning. He was locating his pitches well throughout and only missed while nibbling and used the full repertoire."
Solis will work on being able to keep his stamina up throughout each start. The fourth and fifth innings will be critical to see how he feels, since he has not had to pitch this much in a game in almost two seasons.
But to have Solis pitch well with no complications through these first two starts is a good sign. The Nationals will take it slow with him and ease him back into his work load. Similar to Tommy John recovery for Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and others, Solis will be monitored after each start to see how he recovers. So far so good, as Solis has allowed only one earned run in his first six innings pitched and he hit 92-94 mph in his first start.