The Washington Nationals today recalled right-handed pitcher Saul Rivera from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League and placed left-handed pitcher Joe Beimel on the 15-Day Disabled List with a left hip flexor strain. Nationals Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Rivera, 31, has pitched in six games this season with the Nationals and has been a workhorse in the team’s bullpen since his big-league debut in 2006. His 221 career relief appearances and 45 holds rank third in club annals (2005-current). Rivera signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent on November 18, 2005.
Beimel suffered his injury while making an exceptional defensive play during the eighth inning of Monday’s game against Atlanta. In eight relief appearances this season, he owns four holds and a 1.23 ERA. The 32-year-old signed with the Nationals as a free agent on March 18.
This has to be considered a big hit to the bullpen, since Beimel has been the most effective component and Rivera arguably the least effective. If Rivera's struggles continue though, he'll make the Nats decision really easy. Rivera simply has to perform better or he risks losing his job--for good.
And it's really too bad about Beimel. The play he apparently hurt himself on was a nice one, but you have to wonder if the field had been dry if he'd gotten injured. We'll never know, of course, but let's hope this hip flexor strain doesn't keep him out longer than 15 days.