Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez with about two posts per week until Spring Training. Enjoy.
When a team has already watched four of its catchers limp off the field and onto the disabled list in the first two months of the season, that usually isn’t a good sign for the fortunes of that team. But because of players like Jhonatan Solano, the Washington Nationals were able to continue their dominance of the National League East with their fifth-string catcher behind the plate.
When Solano was called up on May 29 – just eight days after his younger brother Donovan came up for the Miami Marlins – he went to work right away. He got his first Major League hit in his debut against the Marlins with his brother watching from the dugout and his family cheering from the stands, haphazardly clad in mismatched Nats and Marlins gear.
Solano’s success at the plate continued through his time with the Nationals. He went 11-for-35 with three doubles, two home runs, six RBI’s and a stolen base.
Behind the plate Solano was just as effective, making no errors, allowing only two passed balls and throwing out three of eight base-stealers in 12 games before he also fell victim to The Curse of the Nationals Catchers on July 19.
Although he wasn’t with the big club for long, his ability to skillfully play his position at the Major League level when Nationals Park had become a graveyard for catchers was key to the Nats ascendance in 2012 and spoke incredibly well of the depth of the Nationals farm system.
Next Year: 2013 will likely be Solano’s eighth year starting his season at the Minor League level because Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki have the position locked up for the Nationals. However, based on his performance in 2012, Solano has proved that he is a viable choice for a Major League catcher should either of those two players become injured.
Up Next: #24 Rick Ankiel