Pitching among a line of teammates who were rearing back and firing at nearly full velocity, Rafael Soriano stood out from the pack this morning. The new Nationals closer approached his first bullpen session of the spring like a stroll in the park, throwing with perhaps 50 percent effort.

The end result might not have wowed onlookers who were hearing loud thwacks every time Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Tyler Clippard's pitches were caught. But Soriano wasn't trying to match those teammates or blow away anybody watching him throw.

"He's a veteran guy and knows how to get himself ready," said general manager Mike Rizzo, who watched everybody pitch from behind the row of catchers. "He's just getting the kinks out today and getting some touch-and-feel, command stuff. Just getting the arm loose for the first time."