In the immediate aftermath of another rough outing for Blake Treinen in last night’s 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves, Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker told reporters that things had to change at the back of Washington’s bullpen.
“We’ve got to do something to shore up our closer situation,” Baker said, “because — I don’t know, this ain’t working. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and see.”
Through eight appearances and 6 1⁄3 innings, Treinen has three saves and he’s posted a 7.11 ERA, a 5.59 FIP, six walks (8.53 BB/9), and seven Ks (9.95 K/9), with opposing hitters up to a .357/.471/.500 line against the 28-year-old right-hander.
Baker said he was concerned about the walks (after Treinen issued two last night, one with the bases loaded) and the fact that opposing teams are barreling him up.
“Walks and guys that are not supposed to be hitting him that hard are hitting him,” were his concerns, Baker explained. “I don’t know, we’ve just got to talk about it.”
In an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this morning, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo was asked what his manager meant when Baker said, “this ain’t working.”
“It probably means that we’re going to reevaluate and see where we’re at,” Rizzo said.
“We still love the depth that we have in the bullpen. We love the personnel in the bullpen. Maybe it’s kind of a reshuffling of roles, get some different experiences in there, I’m not sure.
“We haven’t discussed it in depth yet, but we’re all in concert that we love the bullpen personnel that we have, we love the stuff, we love the depth that we have and we see that it’s going to be an asset for us rather than a detriment.”
So what’s next for the Nationals? Rizzo wasn’t ready to name a new closer, explaining that he, Baker, and pitching coach Mike Maddux hadn’t yet discussed how they’ll move forward.
“We’re at a point now that we’re starting to figure out some roles,” Rizzo said.
“Dusty and Mike and I are going to discuss that early this afternoon and like I said, we like and trust the personnel that we have, the stuff that they employ and we’re waiting for it to click and to get everybody comfortable in their roles and get after it.”
Baker said earlier this season that he planned on going with a closer rather a closer-by-committee, which he said doesn’t tend to work. Rizzo reiterated this afternoon that he thinks they will once again settle on one pitcher for the role.
“I see one guy eventually taking over. I certainly do. I think that’s going to shake out.
“I think we’re going to find the right recipe at the back end of games. We’ve got too many good talented players to not do that.”
So if the Nationals have a lead in the ninth tonight, who does Baker send to the hill in SunTrust Park? Shawn Kelley? Koda Glover? Sammy Solis?
Who is next in line for a shot at the Nationals’ closer role?
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