Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez expressed some concern about reliever Kyle Barraclough after the right-hander struggled in yet another appearance in Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Barraclough took the mound with the Nationals trailing 6-3 in the eighth and surrendered a leadoff single, threw a wild pitch, gave up a two-run home run, and then walked one batter and gave up another hit before he was replaced on the mound by Tony Sipp, who gave up an RBI double that drove in one of the two runners he inherited.
It was the fifth appearance in the last eight in which Barraclough has given up a run, and as the Nats’ manager said, the 29-year-old, five-year veteran’s velocity was down as well.
“His velo is a little down and his secondary pitches are just not good right now,” Martinez said.
“Slider, he can’t even throw it over for strikes, but his velo is down, 92-93, but for a while there he was throwing a pretty good changeup, couldn’t throw that today either.”
Decreased velocity, lack of command, a 6.39 ERA, a 6.05 FIP, a .299/.377/.542 line against in 25 1⁄3 IP on the season. All of this is a reason for concern, right?
“When your velo is down, and again, he missed his spots,” the second-year manager said.
“So that’s tough when you’re not hitting your spots and your velo is down, then all of a sudden now instead of 0-2, 1-2, you’re getting 2-2, 3-2 on hitters.”
Martinez was asked if Barraclough is healthy?
“He says he’s healthy yeah,” he said.
As for a potential fix?
“We’re going to have to look at,” Martinez said. “[Pitching Coach] Paul [Menhart] said he’s going to go back again today, and I’ll look at his mechanics again, see where his arm slot is again, see where his front shoulder is, if he’s coming forward again with his head, we’ll look at all that stuff, and we’ll go from there, but like I said, when you’re throwing basically with one pitch that he can get over, that’s tough to do.”
In advance of today’s series finale with the D-backs, the Nationals placed Barraclough on the 10-day Injured List with right radial nerve irritation and recalled Adrián Sanchez from Double-A Harrisburg.