Dusty Baker told reporters last night that the Washington Nationals were calling A.J. Cole up to start the series finale with the Miami Marlins this evening. In addition to calling Cole up, the Nationals officially activated Brandon Kintzler, adding him to the bullpen after acquiring the right-hander from the Minnesota Twins before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
Cole, 25, has struggled at Triple-A Syracuse this season, putting up a (4-4) record in 16 starts, over which he’s posted up a 5.66 ERA, 31 walks (3.38 BB/9), 63 Ks (6.86 K/9) and a .325 BAA.
In his last three starts, the 2010 Nationals’ 4th Round pick has put up 3.24 ERA, with four walks, 15 Ks and a .324 BAA.
Kintzler, 33, saved 28 games this season with the Minnesota Twins, putting up a 2.78 ERA, 11 walks (2.81 BB/9), 27 Ks (5.36 K/9), and a .246 BAA in 45 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Kintzler joins a rebuilt bullpen that also includes Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, who were acquired from the Oakland A’s in advance of the non-waiver deadline.
Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker said this week that once everyone was available, he and his coaches would figure out which roles each of the pitchers will fill.
“There are some guys that don’t feel comfortable later in the game, and some guys feel more comfortable earlier in the game, the main thing — that’s where [Pitching Coach] Mike Maddux comes in and the staff and myself to learn the comfort-level of each player and learn the personality of everyone on our team and try to slot them in a position where they are most likely to succeed.”
In order to make room on the roster, the Nationals optioned Erick Fedde, who made his MLB debut against Colorado this weekend, and Sammy Solis, to Triple-A Syracuse.
#Nationals: #Nats recalled RHP A.J. Cole from Triple-A, activated RHP Brandon Kintzler. RHP Erick Fedde & LHP Sammy Solis optioned to AAA.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 2, 2017
Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo noted, on Twitter, that the Nationals could call Fedde back up before the normal ten-day period they would need to wait after he’d been optioned if the Nats have to place Gio Gonzalez on Paternity Leave as he awaits the birth of his second child.
A wrinkle: The Nationals can call up Fedde within 10 days if they place Gonzalez on paternity leave list. It's treated like an injury.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) August 2, 2017
For now, Cole is up to start vs the Marlins in tonight’s series finale, Kintzler is up to add depth to the bullpen, and Fedde and Solis are headed back to Syracuse.