Nationals Sign Mike Ballard

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The Washington Nationals continued to fill out their minor league rosters today with another signing. According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, the team has signed left-handed pitcher Mike Ballard to a minor league contract. Ballard, who’ll turn 28 in February, has spent the past three seasons sharing time between Double-A and Triple-A in the Rangers and Orioles organizations. In his career he’s appeared in 155 games (including 130 starts), posting a 51-43 record and 4.50 ERA.

In 2011 he finished 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 159.1 innings (108.0 of which came at Double-A). He added 1.7 BB/9 and 8.5 K/9 – both improvements over his career marks of 2.2 BB/9 and 6.7 K/9. Presumably the Nationals expect Ballard to provide some depth at Triple-A in 2012.

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