Washington Nationals add arms to bullpen, don’t bother learning names
Well, the injury bug is back and chewing through the Washington Nationals pitching staff like it’s his job. Days after Erick Fedde found his way to the injury list, Tanner Rainey came up lame as well. Throw in an ineffective Justin Miller, who was designated for assignment, and the turnstiles to the bullpen door just keep spinning.
You know the other arms on the Injured List. Daniel Hudson, Kyle Finnegan, Will Harris, and Luis Avilan, though you may not know their replacements.
Don’t worry. My guess is they won’t be pitching enough for you to be able to read their name above their spring training issued numbers.
No need to acquaint yourself with the fresh faces in the Nationals bullpen, they won’t pitch much.
Manager Davey Martinez has the reputation of finding relievers he likes and riding them untill they can’t be rode no more. Started with the overuse of Wander Suero in 2019 and further evidenced by the few relievers (er starting pitchers acting as relievers) he used during the playoff run later that year.
Yes, high leverage situations demand pitchers a guy can trust. I get it. The schedule says there are 85 games left. Too early to further burn out arms.
So, who are the new faces in the pen? Andres Machado is one, Kyle Lobstein is the other. Machado last pitched in the Majors in 2017. He was called up earlier in the year as the 27th man during a double header. He didn’t play. Lobstein hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016.
Judging by the last three games, Austin Voth will be the new eighth inning guy and Brad Hand will be called upon for multiple innings if Martinez deems necessary. Hand appeared in all three of those games. Sam Clay, like Voth, got the nod in two. Should the Nationals find themselves in a save situation who is trusted with the ninth inning? Paolo Espino was picked last time, though he’s in the rotation now.
Two things are for sure, won’t be Machado. Won’t be Lobstein.
I’m always glad when guys get second chances to contribute. Look at Espino, the lifer in the minor leagues who has two wins and a save on his resume now. Great story. Don’t expect to see the same results from Machado or Lobstein. Don’t expect to see much of them at all, in fact.