Jun 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Felipe Rivero (73) pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Felipe Rivero Has Stayed Strong In The Nats Bullpen
The only Nats pitcher that threw a pitch in last night’s loss besides Fister was left-hander Felipe Rivero. The 23-year-old retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth inning and struck out two Braves hitters. He has struck out at least two batters during four of his last six outings.
Rivero, who made his Major League debut on April 17, went 1-0 in the month of June with a 2.53 ERA, giving up just three runs in 10.2 innings. Out of the nine games he pitched in, he gave up a run in two of them.
With every appearance he makes in a game, Rivero is starting to grow his confidence that his pitch arsenal can get big league hitters out at a consistent rate. The question that now has to be answered is will Rivero still be with the team in the next week or so?
Last night, down at high-A Potomac, Aaron Barrett made his first rehab appearance. He struck out two batters and walked one on 16 pitches (10 strikes) and was nearly part of a combined no-hitter between him, Lucas Giolito, and Manny Rodriguez.
Right now, Rivero is the second lefty in the Nats bullpen along with Matt Thornton, but will the organization choose to go with one lefty in Thornton, who can get both lefties and righties out. That will be an interesting decision to see the Nats make. Whatever they decide on Rivero’s status when Barrett comes back, the young reliever has showed the team that he can step up and pitch well in the Major Leagues when called upon.