Before the series finale against the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Nationals announced that they are putting right-handed reliever Craig Stammen on the 15-day disabled list due to right forearm stiffness. This is the second Washington reliever who is on the DL as Casey Janssen is recovering from a shoulder injury that occurred during spring training:
Stammen had pitched four innings in 2015, giving up two hits, walking three and striking out three. This includes walking one batter in last night’s 8-7 loss to the Red Sox. However, he was also a reliever that had been frequently used by manager Matt Williams in the early stages of the season. This is what Stammen told reporters about how he has felt the last few days:
The announcement of Taylor Jordan as the call-up is an interesting move by the organization. At triple-A Syracuse, Jordan was being used as a starter. His only start came on April 10 against Scranton Wilkes-Barre when he threw six innings, gave up no runs on two hits, struck out five, and walked one. He was scheduled as the starter in Syracuse’s game this morning against the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (Philadelphia Phillies) He has made 14 appearances in the major leagues, but all of them have come as a member of the starting rotation.
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This is the second bullpen move that the Nats have made in the last two days. On Monday, Washington designated lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno for assignment and called up reliever Rafael Martin, who was the closer at Syracuse. Martin was 11-for-12 in save chances last year at Syracuse with a 0.80 ERA.
While this will put even more pressure on the Nationals vaunted rotation to throw more innings, this continues to compound a problem that Williams has had with getting relievers to give the ball to Drew Storen with a lead. Storen has only appeared in two games this season and hasn’t pitched since Sunday.
Remember, Tanner Roark was used as the long man in Jordan Zimmermann’s start on Monday afternoon and did a very good job. He went 3.2 innings, giving up a David Ortiz solo home run on four hits and walked one batter. Roark has been used two times in the last four games, so will the Nats make the decision to use him as a late-inning reliever as one of those seventh inning options to get to Blake Treinen in the eighth?
Now, how will the Nats manage the late innings, which have been a problem in the first eight games, even though their team bullpen ERA of 2.52 is in the top ten in all of baseball? However, they have not been able to hold leads when the Nats offense hands it to them. The main problem has been the 7th inning, a situation where the Nats have a 5.63 ERA, which is tied with the Orioles for the fifth worst in baseball.