Nationals prospect Sammy Solis to undergo Tommy John surgery next week

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UPDATE: It’s official, Solis will have Tommy John surgery next week.

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Sammy Solis, a 2010 second-round pick Baseball America recently ranked as the Nationals’ sixth-best prospect, has been shut down after experiencing elbow pain during a throwing session and is likely headed for Tommy John surgery, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.

Solis left Nationals camp yesterday and traveled to California for a meeting with Dr. Lewis Yocum, who’s second to only Dr. James Andrews when it comes to operating on pitchers.

Zuckerman reports that Solis first experienced elbow problems while pitching in the Arizona Fall League in November, but at the time different doctors gave differing opinions and ultimately the Nationals told the 23-year-old left-hander to simply rest the injury.

Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann both came back very strong from Tommy John surgery, so the Nationals can still have high hopes for Solis joining them in the rotation one day, but he’d miss the entire 2012 season and perhaps be limited at the beginning of 2013 as well.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.