Who will replace Tyler Clippard in the eighth inning?

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Apr 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Aaron Barrett (30) throws during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Big Shoes to fill, but who will fill them?

The Escobar-Clippard trade left an undeniable hole in the Nationals’ bullpen, and while the team has many options to fill that hole, I believe Barrett will ultimately be the right man for the job in 2015.

The 27-year-old right-hander showed that he has what it takes to be a dominant, late-innings option last season and, when his command is right, his slider can be un-hittable. Yes, he imploded in the playoffs, But I’m confident that Barrett can learn from that experience and that it’ll ultimately help make him a better pitcher down the road.

We won’t know for sure who will take over the eighth inning until the regular season. One thing’s for certain, Tyler Clippard will be greatly missed in the Nationals’ bullpen. And whoever takes the job – whether it’s one player or a combination of several – has some very, very big shoes to fill.