VIERA, Fla. - Rafael Soriano has obtained his visa and is expected to be at Nationals camp in the next day or two, according to a team source.
The deadline for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training was Tuesday, but Soriano was unable to arrive on time due to an issue with his visa.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Soriano should be here shortly and will get with manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty to discuss how he'll be used early in camp.
The Nationals had their "B" group of pitchers take the mound for bullpen sessions today, a group that included Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, Tyler Clippard, Ross Ohlendorf, Ryan Perry, Fernando Abad, Yunesky Maya, Jeremy Accardo, Brandon Mann, Tyler Roark and Will Ohman.
Zimmermann threw to catcher Wilson Ramos, who was back behind the plate for the second straight day. Zimmermann looked like he was throwing free and easy, firing in fastballs on the corners that whizzed through the air before popping into Ramos' mitt.
Ramos said that Zimmermann's changeup looked especially good today. The Nationals right-hander has been working on his change for a couple years now, and while it hasn't become a heavy part of his arsenal yet, it sounds like the pitch continues to improve.
Haren cut his throwing session to catcher Jhonatan Solano a little bit short because he was tiring, but Solano liked what he saw from the veteran righty in the time that he threw. Haren hides the ball behind his right leg a bit as he goes into his throwing motion, which looks like it creates a bit of deception for hitters.
"He's got a good arm movement, so you can't see the difference between those pitches," Solano said.
Ramos, by the way, said that he felt much better today than he did yesterday, when he complained of his knee getting a bit tired while he was behind the plate. Today, Ramos made it through Zimmermann's throwing session with ease and then participated in various drills behind the plate with the other catchers, sporting a smile on his face the whole time.
It's tough to glean a whole lot from these throwing sessions, but both Accardo and Ohlendorf looked to be locating the ball down in the zone and working with confidence. Accardo spent the vast majority of his 10-minute session working the outer half of the plate, firing fastballs at the corner with impressive precision.
Perry has a lot of zip on his pitches and was working a lot with his sinker and slider. I got a chance to talk to him recently and will have his thoughts on where he stands going into spring and why he decided to make the transition from a reliever to a starter in the middle of last year.