Washington Nationals: DoD Staff Discussing The Start To The 2022 Season
By Max Rayman
Thoughts on the bullpen’s surprising start to the year?
Ryan: This is my favorite misnomer about the 2022 Nats — the bullpen isn’t good. It’s good in relation to everything else on this team but their league ranks tell the story: 8th in HR/9, 17th in BB/9, 19th in K/9, 24th in ERA, 25th in WHIP, and 27th in hits allowed. There was a time when they were pitching well but it was not sustainable and with a major workload, the true bullpen has shown its form.
Max: Compared to last year, the bullpen has been a pleasant surprise, but that’s not saying much. Last year’s group finished in the bottom five of almost every category, so seeing the bullpen rank 11th in FIP (3.67) is a sight to see. Injuries have already started to pile up, with Sean Doolittle and Mason Thompson both on the 60-day IL. Victor Arano has emerged as a solid weapon for the bullpen, posting a 1.39 FIP and having yet to allow a homer across 17 innings. Something to keep an eye on is the usage of the bullpen. With the Nats rotation struggling to go deep into games, the bullpen has been leaned on heavily and this does not project to change.
Nick: The bullpen still isn’t good, but it is surprising that the best bullpen year we’ve had seemingly since 2012 comes in the first year we are officially not trying to contend.