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Desperation forces bullpen makeover

May 21, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

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Ryan Mattheus broke his right hand after Sunday's game in San Diego.

As if an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of the Giants last night wasn't bad enough, the Nationals now find themselves forced into giving their bullpen a quick makeover just so they can have a few fresh arms for tonight's game in San Francisco.

Ryan Mattheus will be placed on the disabled list after breaking his right hand Sunday in San Diego, an injury that didn't occur during the Nationals' 13-4 loss to the Padres but afterward when the right-hander punched his locker in frustration. Mattheus' surprise injury, combined with the eight innings of work needed out of Zach Duke, Craig Stammen and Henry Rodriguez last night, leaves the Nationals with a serious dearth of healthy relievers at the moment.

So general manager Mike Rizzo will summon a pair of pitchers from Class AAA Syracuse: veteran right-hander Yunesky Maya and left-hander Fernando Abad. Each is expected to be added to theRead more »

230 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - May 21, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Both Cedeno and Romero as well as Crotta have been far more effective than highly touted Patrick McCoy who I think was demoted a level.

  2. peric - May 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    They aren't facing Hunter Pence and Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt.And you can't find out until they face them now can you Ghost? That's how they found out about Storen, Clippard, Mattheus, Stammen … really only excluding Soriano who came in as a high priced free agent.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Theo, you beat me to it on Erik Davis. A RH pitcher. Let's at least get the facts straight when you are trying to make a point.http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=458530

  4. NatsLady - May 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Abad won the spring training lefty contest, and Davey said he had made the team. Now, let's see what he's got. Lefties – Final Gradeshttp://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/03/nats-lefty-contest-final-grades.html

  5. peric - May 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Theo, you beat me to it on Erik Davis. A RH pitcher. Let's at least get the facts straight when you are trying to make a point.The facts are Ghost, Theo said there was nothing worth looking at BP wise whether right handed or left-handed. And Mattheus is right handed IS HE NOT? So, what would preclude them from replacing right-with-right in other words Erik Davis?

  6. NatsLady - May 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    peric, if you read before you post (I know it's a lot, but try it) this was all discussed. RIght now, Davey wants one lefty in the BP for the very near future, and Duke ain't it. Maya will go back down when Stammen is rested (I assume) and Duke will be DFA and maybe Henry will go on the DL, there will be room for Davis, give it a few days.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    NatsLady is right. Davey needs more situational relievers. You can't do what they have been doing with essentially a 5 man bullpen of Sori, Storen, Clip, Mattheus and Stammen.

  8. Doc - May 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    A little Photo Shop on the Cat would get the team yuking it up for days.A lot of goofy things could be done with that picture–most of which woulld be X-Rated!!! I see some opportunity for the bull pen guys to put their 'artistic' efforts to good (or bad) use.

  9. karlkolchak - May 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    "Agreed about Eury…really strange he never pinch ran."That's another frustrating thing about this offense, despite being so anemic and having some decent team speed, they rarely ever try to use it and put pressure on the opposing pitcher. Of course, in order to steal you have to get on base…

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    peric said… And you can't find out until they face them now can you Ghost? That's how they found out about Storen, Clippard, Mattheus, Stammen … really only excluding Soriano who came in as a high priced free agent.So long as you know the risks, then you can do it if they have options. If you bring up Romero, you can't just send him back as he would have to clear waivers.I'm fine with Davis or even Krol. I wish Christian Garcia was healthy.Davey needs 7 relievers he can count on. By DFA'ing Henry and Duke it opens up 2 more spots on the 40 man.By the way, Ian Krol is a lefty and has options. Add him on to the 40 man after you DFA one of the busts and see how Krol does.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    karlkolchak said… "Agreed about Eury…really strange he never pinch ran."That's another frustrating thing about this offense, despite being so anemic and having some decent team speed, they rarely ever try to use it and put pressure on the opposing pitcher. Of course, in order to steal you have to get on base…Preaching to the choir. Span may be fast but is not a good baserunner. Eury and Bernadina are your perfect pinch-runners and when Davey had 3 opportunities on a win-able game Saturday night he didn't make 1 substitution.I had no idea how rare that was that a team didn't make 1 substitution in a loss where you were not leading past the 5th inning. Supposedly the last time that happened was 2 years ago and is a baseball rarity.What was Davey thinking?

  12. NatsLady - May 21, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Ghost, I don't know. I had just barely got on the Davey Train, barely, and now I am not understanding his moves, some of which should be routine, like pinch-runners. Or like Eric said, why not let Duke pitch when you know the batter is going to bunt? Duke is a good fielder, we saw that. He might get out of the inning.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    NatsLady, I'm not sure why Davey didn't go straight to Henry in that situation instead of using up Stammen.See if Henry can hold the game or make it into a laugher.At the point you use up Stammen the bullpen needed reinforcements and that was before we knew that Mattheus was going to break his hand.

  14. Ivan Tuski - May 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Amen

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    PieroB No, Ted Marerro CAN NOT play the outfield period. Just ask Luke Erickson about what happened when they tried it. And is barely serviceable at first base. Check out the number of errors he already has. He is a PH/DH at best in the major leagues. Rendon isn't going to come up and play second until he, like Espinosa before him, gets a ton or reps probably a month or more at Syracuse playing the position. Of course Davey is the wildcard but he did not seem all that enthusiastic about Rendon fearing he perhaps could supplant RZim? Whereas with Harper he couldn't wait for the chance to call him up.I don't see it.I pulled this comment off of the MASN site in a response to Ted Leavengood's suggestion of moving Rendon to 2nd base.I'd almost swear Ted grabbed his material from NatsInsider but I doubt he would do that and I'd also swear PieroB is PeriC.

  16. peric - May 21, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    By the way, Ian Krol is a lefty and has options. Add him on to the 40 man after you DFA one of the busts and see how Krol does.He's in Harrisburg. They haven't been pulling from Harrisburg of late. The days of JimBo are gone I guess. Even Harper got pulled from Syracuse.

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Peric, Rendon got pulled from Harrisburg so there is your 1 example.Krol is hot right now. It could be a lousy cup of coffee if he isn't ready but Davey needs to fix the front end of the bullpen and until Mattheus is ready to return we get to see Abad. Nothing would change my mind on Duke or Henry. Henry could still surprise down the road in the Orioles bullpen but I doubt it. He's too inconsistent for any team striving for the post-season.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    When a player has talent, they usually stand out at AA. I think many GMs don't like to be 2nd guessed and will send a player on to AAA to make sure they do well there.While the starting pitching is better at the AAA level, I don't necessarily think a AA reliever would learn much more there.Do I think Rizzo will call Krol up? NO I put it out there more as a challenge to think out of the box.Again, Davey needs arms he can count on and I'm hoping Abad is the best of the bunch.There is still Bray who is getting through the steps towards getting his mechanics working.

  19. peric - May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Peric, Rendon got pulled from Harrisburg so there is your 1 example.Yes, as did Sandy Leon, and that too was an emergency. Rendon for a few days made sense because he was already optioned and on the 40-man and he was the best fielder at that position they had in the system. And his bat was interesting. But, Davey made a point of saying it would be very temporary.But not as a permanent fixture? Look at how well lefty Patrick McCoy did in Harrisburg and when he got to Syracuse? Krol needs to see Syracuse first.

  20. peric - May 21, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    There is still Bray who is getting through the steps towards getting his mechanics working.They seem to like to send guys working back from injuries to Harrisburg. I'm not sure why. Although Potomac gets to see Solis again.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Speaking of AAA, the Nats faced old friend Shawn Hill last night in a matchup of Hill and Chris Young.That's the problem with AAA. Filled with has-been MLB pitchers who are a shadow of their former selves. It makes it very tough to analyze players when they are facing lousy pitching and teams don't operate using MLB quality scouting reports.

  22. peric - May 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    RIght now, Davey wants one lefty in the BP for the very near future, and Duke ain't it.Actually two. One left-handed long man/spot starter and one LOOGY. That's his usual formula. They're just taking their time getting their this season due to roster related issues (HROD without options).

  23. peric - May 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    It makes it very tough to analyze players when they are facing lousy pitching and teams don't operate using MLB quality scouting reports.Except for the true prospects and/or sleepers. Its hard to know until they are brought up and allowed to play. In the case of T-Mo he really hasn't had much of a chance to play regularly in the majors. A part of that are his defensive handicaps. Lombo I think has gotten plenty of time in the starting lineup enough to know … and it sure looks to me like they may have made their call. Right now, only Rendon has the potential and is a true major leaguer to be. After that there is going to have to be some modicum of good fortune involved.

  24. Salvatore Johnson - May 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I have been spoiled.It's now very hard to see the Nats loss and loss badly. I excepted it three years ago but now it's really hard to watch. It's off to bed early on these games from the west coast.They seem like a high end sports car like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini that have not been tuned up and are running very rough right now.Honestly the only good thing about all of this, you know that it will be a matter of time when then are all tuned up and will run in sync, then they will dominate.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Peric, I don't think the long man has to be a lefty. Most long men in the MLB are RH. It just needs to be someone who can eat up innings who isn't going to make a bad situation worse as they are usually called in early in a game.

  26. peric - May 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Peric, I don't think the long man has to be a lefty. Most long men in the MLB are RH. True. And you usually only really need just one. But Davey's model says you have two one left-handed and one right-handed. Plus he likes to have at least one LOOGY in the pen. Now, he currently has both … and a sixth starter … on the roster. I expect this might all change come June 1st. We'll have to wait and see.

  27. JaneB - May 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I knew there was a reason I didn't look at Insider till now. Ugh. I feel bad for him of course, and know he feels stupid. I hope Bryce sees the lesson here,just in case.We need another sacrificial chicken or something, maybe a dozen or so. HEAL You Freaking Nats, HEAL!

  28. Secret wasian man - May 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    I was criticized in April when I made a comment about seeing some of our bullpen guys (Matheus) included, with hats on backwards slugging down beers at the Capitals game. That bothered me because it showed a lack of professionalism and immaturity. Especially with a game the next day. And now to here Matheus breaks his hand hitting a locker?. I am not at all surprised. Pathetic, selfish, awful team. Not liking what I am seeing. And FP constant ranting at fans and stupid comments isn't helping.

  29. Eric - May 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Backwards hats? Beer? Post-game obviously entailed ladies of the night and Doc Gooden pain relief in the after hours…;)

  30. Peacack - May 21, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Holy crap we need football training camps to start up so the moron fans who only watch football except for the occasional bandwagon jump to the Caps or Nats when they are good can go back to their boards. This is starting to look like a vintage 2011 Caps message board. Its 1/4 of the way through an injury-riddled, whole-team slump season and we are 1 game over .500…this is NOT COMPARABLE to the 2007-2010 teams. Teams like Tampa are in the same exact boat. We are 1 hot streak away from being back on a 92-95 win pace (we have had a cold run, but not a hot one yet). Its baseball, and its mid-May. Give it time FFS

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