With Jeremy Hellickson set to come off of the disabled list on Saturday, the Washington Nationals need to make a roster move. But who’s the odd man out?
The Washington Nationals have an interesting roster decision to make on Saturday. Starter Jeremy Hellickson will be starting the game after he’s been activated from the disabled list. But who makes way for him?
There are a few different ways that the Nats brass could go with this. However, with a nine-man bullpen, it’s likely one of the relievers will make way.
We take a look at a few of the different options the Nationals have.
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Option Sammy Solis to Triple-A
This seems to be the most likely option. However, it’s not because Sammy Solis has done anything wrong. He’s pitched to the tune of a 4.50 ERA, but only given up runs in five of his 25 appearance since May.
Davey Martinez has trusted Solis in some big spots so far, as he’s accumulated 12 holds. That’s the second highest mark on the team, so it would be tough to send someone like that down.
However, as the Nats have shown already this season, performance isn’t the only factor in their decision. They’ve previously optioned the impressive Wander Suero back to the Syracuse Chiefs, in order to retain all their pieces.
Solis has one option remaining, as in 2016, although he started in Triple-A, it was only for 19 days, one less than is needed for it to use up an option. So that may well be the deciding factor.
Designate Shawn Kelley for assignment
In 2018, Shawn Kelley has looked far from his best and has been kept in a low-leverage role by Martinez. But, would the Nats be willing to eat the rest of his contract? Unlikely.
He’s on course to post the second highest HR/9 total of his career at 2.3, which trails only last season’s 4.2. He’s also allowed runs in seven of his 23 appearances this season, which makes him a high-risk option every time he pitches.
The final factor in potentially getting rid of Kelley would be that he rarely pitches more than one inning. This is key, especially for someone who’s likely to be used in blowout games and needs to eat innings. If ability was the only factor, Kelley would probably be the one to go, but that’s just not the case.
Some outside chances
Although the two above moves are the most likely outcomes there are a couple of other possibilities. Tim Collins burst back onto the scene with the Nats but has struggled a bit of late. He would need to give permission to be optioned back to Triple-A, which is unlikely and probably keeps him safe.
A wildcard move would be to designate Brian Goodwin for assignment. As a fifth outfielder, he’s struggling to get game time, but the Nats also want to keep him around given the value he has as a player. But, we did see the Tampa Bay Rays trade Corey Dickerson after giving him the dreaded DFA, so I wouldn’t completely rule it out.
Although Sammy Solis being optioned looks the most likely move, there are different directions the Washington Nationals could go. Roster decisions are never as easy as they look after all.