In a surprising move today, the Nationals have optioned reliever Erik Davis back to Triple A Syracuse as Ross Detwiler returns from the disabled list. Ross Ohlendorf will stay on the major league roster after allowing just two hits and one run in six innings of great work against the Rockies. Ohlendorf will move to the bullpen and be a long reliever, much like Zach Duke was.
Davis had a 3.00 ERA at Syracuse, but had a 6.23 ERA in five appearances in the majors. He only allowed more than one hit or any runs in one of his outings, but in that one he allowed five baserunners and three runs in one inning of work against the Mets. If he keeps performing well there, he will be high on the list if the Nationals need to call up a reliever in the future.
Ohlendorf did not dazzle with his stuff in his season debut, but his great results cannot be argued with. Perhaps he will regress to the level of performance that got him a 7.70 big league ERA last year, but he doesn’t need to keep his great ways up forever. Given how well lefties Ian Krol and Fernando Abad have performed, allowing no runs in 12.1 combined innings pitched, it seems likely that Ohlendorf will be the odd man out when Ryan Mattheus returns from his broken hand, whenever that may be.