The Washington Nationals made another move to upgrade their bullpen Wednesday, adding left-hander Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners.
The Washington Nationals had a clear mission coming into the trade deadline. Upgrade their bullpen without giving up one of their top prospects. For the most part, Washington accomplished that goal.
One of the three trades they made yesterday was acquiring left-handed reliever Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners. Tweet via Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The 31-year-old lefty had posted a solid season for in Seattle. To date, in 44 games he has logged 47 innings with 45 strikeouts, and a 1.255 WHIP. Elias has struggled with his command at times during his career, walking 17 batters already this season, but has an electric arm.
Elias has some serious reverse splits. Right-handers have hit just .182 in 132 at-bats against him, while lefties are hitting .353 in 51 at-bats.
Washington desperately needed to add another left-handed arm to their bullpen, and Elias is a solid option. With the acqusiiton, it likely means Matt Grace or Tony Sipp’s time as a Washinton Nationals has likely come to an end.
Grace has more versatility, starting even as an opener last Saturday. With the Nationals having problems at the four and five starter spots, it makes much more sense to keep Grace on the team. He can be your long-man out of the bullpen and even could start a game if you needed him to.
Sipp never turned out to be the reliever Washington thought he was when they signed him, really struggling to get out left-handed batters this season. Despite pitching better over the last month, there simply is not enough room for Washington to keep four left-handers on the roster.
Roenis Elias was not a flashy acquisition, but he will fill a big need the Nationals had. Without giving up any of their top prospects, Washington found a way to strengthen their bullpen.