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Dusty Baker says addition of Marc Rzepczynski to Nationals’ bullpen was a necessary one

New Washington Nationals’ reliever Marc Rzepczynski is on his way to the nation’s capital and Dusty Baker said it was a necessary addition.

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s newest reliever, Marc Rzepczynski, comes to the Nationals with a 3.00 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 24 walks (6.00 BB/9) and 37 Ks (9.25 K/9) in 36 innings for Oakland this season.

The 30-year-old veteran left-hander held opposing hitters to a combined .266/.379/.343 line this season with righties hitting .226/.400/.274 and lefties .296/.360/.395 against him this season with Oakland.

Rzepczynski also has a 70.5% ground-ball rate on the year, the second-lowest in the majors at the time of the deal.

Before tonight’s series finale with the Baltimore Orioles, Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters about the latest addition to the Nationals’ bullpen.

“I think it was a necessary move because we’ve only got one left-hander and especially with [Sammy] Solis down, we were hoping that we would get some reinforcements, especially on the left side, and his stats and his track record looks very good, I think he can help us.”

The addition of Rzepczynski gives the Nationals two lefties in the bullpen along with Oliver Perez.

When might Solis return? Baker offered a sort-of update on the left-hander, who was DL’d with shoulder inflammation.

“I haven’t talked to our medical people about Sammy, because we have quite a few guys on that medical list,” Baker said, “but I talked to Sammy and Sammy says that he feels pretty good, not great, but he’s feeling pretty good. It appears that Sammy could be, who knows, a week or two off.”

Meanwhile the addition of Rzepczynski gives Baker options, and gives the left-hander a chance to play for a team with postseason aspirations.

“He’s happy to be coming here and he’s gained quite a few games in the standings.”

Baker’s happy to have a reliever who’s been generating ground balls at a high rate.

“It’s always a plus when you can induce ground balls, because then you have a chance to turn double plays, you have a chance to get out of trouble,” Baker explained.

“So now I have one that’s one of the best at inducing ground balls in [Blake] Treinen and now I’ve got one on the left side. So you can always use those guys to induce ground balls and it’s a welcome sign and a welcome addition and then when we get Sammy back we can have three [lefties].”

So will Rzepczynski be in D.C. in time for tonight’s series finale with the Orioles?

“There’s a chance,” Baker said. “It all depends on — he’s landing at [Dulles] and you know how traffic is.”

UPDATE: Rzepczynski is in D.C. and available

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