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FBB On MASNSports.com: The Washington Nationals' Early Returns On The Michael Morse Trade

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The three-team trade between the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's that sent Michael Morse out west brought three pitching prospects back to the defending NL East Champions and one of them is already in the nation's capital contributing in the team's bullpen...

Patrick McDermott

[ed. note - "Every Friday morning throughout this season, hopefully, if they'll continue to have me, I'll be writing a post over at MASNSports.com's Nationals Buzz, "... as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest," writers to their site. All opinions expressed are my own... A sample follows... You can read the entire post HERE or through the link included below."]:

When Adam LaRoche struggled at the plate to start this season and Mike Morse continued to hit, the GM was asked on his weekly radio show on 106.7 the Fan in D.C. if he regretted trading Morse.

"A.J. Cole is really starting to take the next step. He'll end up in Double-A this year... Ian Krol is a reliever in Double-A at 22 years old, who is a power lefty who has, I think he's got a (1.10) ERA in Double-A." - Mike Rizzo on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. On Morse Deal

"We got three power arms for (Morse) that are going to help us in the near-future," Rizzo said, "Treinen is in Double-A throwing extremely well, up to 97-98 mph. A.J. Cole is really starting to take the next step. He'll end up in Double-A this year. Treinen will end up in Triple-A and Ian Krol is a reliever in Double-A at 22 years old, who is a power lefty who has, I think he's got a (1.10) ERA in Double-A."

For Krol, the "near-future" arrived quicker than most probably expected. The left-handed reliever had a 0.69 ERA in 21 games and 26 innings pitched before he was called up to the majors a few weeks after Rizzo's comments. The former A's prospect made his major league debut June 5. In seven appearances with the Nationals, Krol has yet to allow a run, throwing 6 2/3 scoreless so far. The Nats showed a lot of faith in the left-hander, bringing him up as quickly as they did, and Davey Johnson even turned to him late in a big pressure situation in Wednesday's game in Philadelphia.

With the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins on first with two outs after Tyler Clippard walked him in the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, the Nationals manager brought Krol in to face Ryan Howard. Krol walked the big slugger, but popped Domonic Brown up in the next at bat to keep it tied at 2-2 in a game the Nats went on to win on Ian Desmond's 11th-inning grand slam. It was the biggest appearance yet for the player to be named later in the Morse trade...

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