All Systems Go
Despite the struggles of some of his teammates, Sean Doolittle is as reliable as ever. With a stellar 1.15 ERA (2.50 FIP) and a 10.91 K/9, Doolittle is as advertised. He is well on his way to a third All-Star appearance.
Doolittle has a mere five saves, but that says more about the team than it does Doolittle. He has only experienced six save opportunities in the Nationals’ 36 games.
The one bullpen free agent acquisition that has exceeded expectations is Kyle Barraclough. He has Doolittle-esque stats (1.42 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 11.85 K/9) and has been a reliable option. Barraclough has given up two earned runs the entire season on 12.2 innings pitched.
Barraclough still walks far too many batters — 4.97 per nine innings. However, that number is lower than his career average of 5.49 BB/9. His home run rate is down, but his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and runners left on base percentage (LOB%) say he is due for some regression.
However, until that regression hits, Barraclough needs to pitch more often.
And that’s all folks. Only two relievers get a check mark without need for debate. Now, onto the more “fun” parts of this piece.