Washington Nationals Analysis: Rookies Making Huge Impact In 2015

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Felipe Rivero

It’s probably pretty easy to forget about Felipe Rivero in the shuffle of Nationals rookie pitchers who made their major league debuts this season. Rivero, Ross, Sammy Solis, Matt Grace, A.J. Cole, Rafael Martin, and Abel De Los Santos all took the mound at the major league level for the first time in 2015. What makes Rivero stand out among the rest, however, is his solid performance coming out of the bullpen that has been unmatched by any other rookie.

Owning a 2.84 ERA over 22 appearances with 25 strikeouts and only 4 walks, the lefty consistently hits 96 mph with his fastball in addition to throwing a devastating slider that can lock up the best left handed hitters in the league. While Matt Williams will occasionally misuse him in games as more than a lefty specialist, his overall performance has been nothing to turn a blind eye to. Of the aforementioned rookies to make their debuts in 2015, Felipe Rivero is the only pitcher to make more than 17 appearances, and one of three to make double digits.

Heading forward, Rivero looks to be a mainstay in the bullpen through the rest of the season. Although he has struggled as of late, there will be plenty of opportunities for him to regain his control and settle back in. With the disaster that their bullpen has been this season, the Nats are going to need him. Granted that Williams uses him in the ways that maximize his potential, he should prove to be one of the most reliable arms in the bullpen.

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