Washington Nationals’ right-hander Brandon Kintzler tossed a quick, 1-2-3 inning in relief for the High-A Potomac Nationals on Sunday afternoon, so Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez had a report on his outing when he met with reporters in advance of the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies last night.
“Kintzler actually felt really good,” Martinez said, though he was waiting for the reliever to get back to D.C. before they made any decisions on the next step.
Kintzler traveled with the team to Tampa Bay, however, and this afternoon the Nationals did reinstate him from the 10-Day Disabled List in time for tonight’s series opener with the Rays, optioning last night’s starter, Jefry Rodriguez, to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the big league roster.
A right forearm flexor strain landed Kintzler on the DL earlier this month, but he said at the time that he wasn’t too concerned about the injury.
“It’s to the point where we got the bullpen throwing really well,” Kintzler told reporters, as quoted by the Washington Post’s Jorge Castillo.
“The team’s throwing really well, where I feel like I can take a break and get it fixed and be back for the stretch.”
Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters this weekend that he was excited to add Kintzler back to the bullpen mix, after the Nats acquired Kelvin Herrera last week.
“It’s nice to be able to match those guys up according to lineups and pinch hitters and stuff like that,” Martinez explained, “so [Kintzler will] still be in the back end of that bullpen along with all those other guys.”
“Brandon throws ground balls,” he said when asked what role the righty would return to.
“So in a situation where we need a ground ball, whether it’s the sixth inning, seventh inning, or whatever, he’s the guy.
“When we need strikeouts you have those other guys, so he’s definitely a big part of our success moving forward.”
NOTE: Jeremy Hellickson started in the same P-Nats’ game Kintzler appeared in, though his outing didn’t go well. Hellickson gave up nine hits, three walks, and 11 earned runs in 4 2⁄3 IP before he was lifted after getting his work in (83 pitches). Martinez said he wasn’t looking at the numbers as much as waiting to see how Hellickson felt.
Before tonight’s series opener in Tampa Bay, Hellickson talked about the minor league start, telling reporters, “I feel ready to go. I felt my stuff was pretty good. I feel 100 percent. My command was pretty shaky. My command really wasn’t there. I’ll try to pick up where I left off.” He didn’t, however, know what the next step would be.