Washington Nationals Bullpen
Tanner Rainey, Steve Cishek, Mason Thompson, Sean Doolittle, Austin Voth, Kyle Finnegan, Andres Machado, Patrick Murphy, Paolo Espino, Victor Arano
It will be tough for the 2022 Nationals bullpen to be as bad as they were last year. They finished last in the majors in FIP (4.86) and blown saves (34), 29th in ERA (5.08), and fWAR (-0.2), and 28th in LOB% (67.7%).
Steve Cishek was signed to bolster the late innings, but Washington is banking on Tanner Rainey, Kyle Finnegan, Patrick Murphy, and Mason Thompson finally putting everything together.
After a successful 2021 in the rotation, Espino might be better suited for the bullpen. He struggled once he faced a lineup for the third time, with opponents slashing .306/.333/.556 against him. Espino joins Austin Voth as the Nats’ long relievers.
Sean Doolittle is the lone lefty in the bullpen, while Victor Arano and Andres Machado round out the group. Hunter Harvey and Tyler Clippard were both sent to the minors to build up their arms and don’t be surprised if either joins the team in the next few months.
Washington Nationals Bench
Dee Strange-Gordon (IF), Riley Adams (C), Yadiel Hernández (OF), Lucius Fox (IF),
An injury to Ehire Adrianza has led the way to prospect Lucius Fox breaking camp with the team. With speed that was given a 70 grade by MLB Pipeline, Fox will be a solid late-inning pinch-runner or defensive replacement.
With Tres Barrera and Andrew Stevenson heading back to AAA, Riley Adams and Yadiel Hernández are the Nats’ backup catcher and fourth outfielder respectively. Hernández in particular looked very comfortable today at the plate, going 2-3, with a run scored.
Someone will need to step up in the pinch-hit department, with Andrew Stevenson at AAA. He has been the team’s best pinch-hitter over the last few years. Dee Strange-Gordon is someone to keep an eye on. He raked during the spring, going 15-33, with four RBIs, and an OPS of .1.031. Similar to Fox, he can play both middle infield positions and has the speed to man center.