Soriano has root canal, will pitch Friday

Soriano has root canal, will pitch Friday
March 21, 2013, 5:00 pm
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nationals closer Rafael Soriano had root canal this afternoon to take care of an infected tooth, but manager Davey Johnson said he expects the veteran reliever to pitch as scheduled Friday against the Tigers.

"A toothache never hurt anybody from pitching, as far as I know," Johnson said prior to the Nationals' exhibition game against the Braves. "I'm sure he's probably fine."

Johnson wasn't sure yet of the extent of Soriano's procedure but doesn't believe it was serious.

"He should be fine," the manager said. "I think it was just in the early stages and they were worried about it becoming an abscess or something during the year. So they nipped it in the bud."

Signed for $28 million in January to be the Nationals' closer for the next two years, Soriano has appeared in only five games so far this spring and has allowed six earned runs over his last 1 2/3 innings. The 33-year-old said all along he only needed 8 to 10 appearances in order to be ready for Opening Day, and he'll start to get some more extensive work during the final week of camp.

Johnson said Soriano, after pitching tomorrow, will appear in back-to-back games next week, and is confident he'll be 100 percent for the start of the season.