Washington Nationals: Time to bring Tim Collins back up to the majors
By Blake Finney
On Friday, the Washington Nationals need for a lefty specialist came to the fore again. So now it’s time to bring Tim Collins back up from the minors.
The Washington Nationals blew the series opener to the Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon. It highlighted the team’s need for a lefty specialist. Enter, Tim Collins.
Collins was designated for assignment on July 4th to make room for Matt Adams. Somewhat surprisingly, he accepted an assignment to Syracuse, allowing the Nationals to call upon him again.
He pitched in 17 games for the Nats earlier this season, to the tune of a 2.77 ERA. But against left-handed hitters, he was masterful.
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In 2018, when lefties faced Collins, they could only muster up a minuscule OPS of .396. Right-handers, on the other hand, recorded an OPS of 1.075 showing the drastic difference.
The Nats currently only have two other lefties in the bullpen. In Friday’s game, manager Davey Martinez went with Sammy Solis to try and get Jason Heyward out, but he allowed a game-tying base hit. This can be explained by Solis’ reverse splits, allowing a higher average and OPS to lefties.
Then there’s Matt Grace, who probably should’ve been brought in on Friday. But he’s been an invaluable long-man for the team, so sho8ld be avoided for obvious reasons
This would leave the primary lefty one-out guy, LOOGY, job free, for Collins. But with him not being on the 40 man roster, they would need to designate someone for assignment.
The primary candidate would be Mark Reynolds, who barely sees the field anymore. At this point, it seems more useful to have a LOOGY rather than a sparsely used bench bat, despite Reynolds’ streaky success this season.
Doing this would also give them an eight-man bullpen, which could come in handy. Starters Tommy Milone and Jeremy Hellickson will usually struggle to get into or past the sixth inning, so another reliever would help take the burden off the bullpen as a whole.
Alternatively, they could option Solis and try to remove someone else from the 40 man roster like Adrian Sanchez to make room for Collins. But Martinez trusts Solis, evidenced by his team-leading 47 appearances, so outlining him may not be wise.
It was surprising when Tim Collins accepted his resignation to Triple-A earlier this season. It gives the Washington Nationals a solid relief option, should they need it.