Washington Nationals 2015 Player Review: Aaron Barrett

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We continue our Washington Nationals 2015 Player Review Series by looking back at right-hander Aaron Barrett‘s 2015 campaign.

In 2014, right-hander Aaron Barret was a crucial part of the Nationals’ bullpen and helped lead the team to its second postseason appearance in three years. In 2015, however, Barrett’s struggles with inconsistency and injury contributed to a mediocre bullpen that played a key role in the team missing the playoffs.

Barrett got off to a strong start last season, going 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 appearances in April. The right-hander dominated at the start of the season and didn’t allow a run in any of his first seven games, allowing just two hits over that span.

In May, however, things started to go downhill for the young right-hander. Barrett allowed eight runs in seven innings in May, posting a 10.29 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP for the month.

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Many wondered what was wrong with Barrett, who had seen a stellar start to the season turn into a dreadful slump in a matter of days. On June 12, the Nationals placed Barrett on the disabled list with a right biceps strain and the right-hander missed nearly a month.

Upon his return to the bullpen on July 10, Barrett once again reverted to the dominant form he showed in 2014 and at the start of last season. The right-hander didn’t allow a run in his first nine appearances, posting a 0.00 ERA for July.

His struggles returned in August, however, when Barrett surrendered three runs in a third of an inning Aug. 5 against the Diamondbacks. The Nationals chose to option Barrett to Triple-A Syracuse after the game, only to void the option a few days later after Barrett revealed that his right elbow was ailing. The team voided the option and placed the right-hander on the disabled list with an elbow sprain, which ultimately ended his season.

Barrett had Tommy John surgery on the elbow in September and could miss the entire 2016 season. Pitchers normally take 12-18 months to recover from the procedure, so the best case scenario for Barrett would be a late-season return to the Nationals’ bullpen.

Needless to say, things didn’t go as Barrett and the Nationals hoped in 2015. And given the timing of his surgery, we may not even see Barrett on the field in 2016. But right now, the priority for Barrett is to work his way back to full health so he can once again become a solid contributor to the Nationals’ bullpen when he returns.

C-. Washington Nationals right-hander Aaron Barrett showed flashes of greatness in 2015, but his season was ultimately derailed by an elbow injury that could keep him on the disabled list until 2017.. RHP. Washington Nationals. AARON BARRETT

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