Trevor Rosenthal walked the bases loaded last night, after taking the mound with a four-run lead in the seventh inning of Washington’s matchup with the Atlanta Braves.
It ended up being a 15-pitch, three-strike appearance which apparently ended his time with the Nationals.
Washington announced this morning that they released the veteran right-hander, who gave up eight hits, 15 walks, and 16 earned runs (22.74 ERA) in 6 1⁄3 innings pitched after signing a 1-year/$7M free agent deal with the Nationals this winter.
Before today’s announcement, manager Davey Martinez talked after last night’s game about what the next step would be for the team and the reliever, who had shown positive signs in a one-out appearance in the series opener with the Braves the previous night.
“I’ll have to kind of just figure it out tonight and see,” he explained.
“Like I said, yesterday he seemed a little bit poised, today he seemed antsy out there. Some of those pitches I guess were close, I didn’t see them yet, but I’ll have to look and see where we’re at.”
Asked why he stuck with the reliever after the first two walks instead of going to the pen, the second-year skipper said he had to see what strides, if any, Rosenthal really made as they tried to get the righty straightened out.
“Like I said, if we’re going to do this, we need to see where we’re at,” Martinez said. “We’ve got eight guys down there and they’ve got to pitch. We had no [Wander] Suero today. [Javy] Guerra, who I talk about a lot, who has come in and done a really good job, but he had three days in a row, up a bunch of times. He needed a day. So I really felt good about putting Rosie in there, I did. And then he walked the guys, and then I thought, ‘Hey, you know what, he’s got to settle down, let’s see what he does,’ and once he walked the third guy, [Tanner] Rainey was ready and we had to do something.”
Apparently the Nationals decided that they couldn’t take the experiment any further, so this morning they made if official and released the reliever.
VOTH GETS THE NOD VS ATL: While all signs pointed to Joe Ross getting the nod for this afternoon’s series finale with the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters in advance of the second game of the three-game set in D.C. that he hadn’t decided on a starter for the finale.
“No. Really, honestly, haven’t decided yet,” Martinez explained, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr.
“We will just see how it plays out tonight, how the game plays out.”
It didn’t play out well for Ross, who gave up five hits, one home run, a walk, and four earned runs overall, struggling in a relief role again after he’d put up a 9.22 ERA, eight walks, 12 Ks, and a .298/.420/.509 line against in 16 appearances and 13 2⁄3 IP out of the bullpen before he was sent down to Triple-A Fresno earlier this season.
What did Martinez see from the right-hander this time out?
“With Joe, here’s a guy that came off of Tommy John,” the manager said, “... and as we’re seeing, sometimes it takes them a while to get going, you know. I really believe that we’ve really got to figure out what his role is going to be, whether he’s going to start, whether he’s going to relieve and just leave him there and let him do his thing. I do believe that there’s a lot of upside in the future, we’ve just got to build him back up, I mean, he was really good before Tommy John, so we’ve just got to build him up.”
After Ross threw 26 pitches out of the pen, however, he clearly wasn’t going to be starting in today’s series finale.
Martinez was asked after the game who would get the ball in the third of three with Atlanta.
“Austin Voth will start tomorrow, and we’ll make a corresponding move in the morning.”
Voth, who’ll turn 27 in a few days, started the season at Triple-A Fresno, where he was (3-5) in 12 starts, with a 4.40 ERA, a 3.75 FIP, 15 walks (2.20 BB/9), and 68 Ks (9.98 K/9) in 61 1⁄3 IP.
Voth was recalled, and Rosenthal was released.