Mar 26, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Miguel Batista is likely to serve as a long man in the Nats' bullpen.
VIERA, Fla. — Jim Riggleman all but named six members of his Opening Day bullpen this morning: Matt Capps, Brian Bruney, Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard, Jason Bergmann and Miguel Batista. No huge surprises there, though Batista's name had never been uttered with so much authority previously this spring.
You had to figure all along, though, that Batista was strong candidate to make the club, if for no other reason than his track record. The 39-year-old right-hander has done just about everything in this game, from starting to closing to serving every other role in between. That versatility makes him valuable to the Nationals, who feel the need to carry a long reliever who can also make a spot start if needed.
Batista's numbers this spring — five runs, 10 hits in 8 2/3 innings pitched — aren't anything spectacular, but the club isn't making its decision based on that.
"Batista is one of those guys, for myself, I go on the track record of a long season," Riggleman said. "Last year, he pitched very effectively for Seattle, in the low-4.00's ERA in a tough American League, and handled a lot of roles. Pitched middle of the games, late in games,Read more »
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