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Washington Nationals make bullpen move: Swap Ryne Harper for Dakota Bacus

Davey Martinez announced a bullpen move ahead of this afternoon’s two-fer with the Orioles in Camden Yards...

Washington Nationals Photo Day Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In advance of tonight’s games in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles will complete last Sunday’s postponed game then get started on a new three-game set, Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez announced that reliever Ryne Harper had been sent to the club’s Alternate Training Site.

Harper, 31, was acquired from the Minnesota Twins this winter in exchange for minor league pitcher Hunter McMahon, and he got off to a good start in his first season in D.C., throwing 5 13 scoreless to begin the 2020 campaign before he gave up runs in two of three trips to the mound, allowing three runs on four hits when he faced the Orioles last weekend and a total of five runs on four hits earlier this week when he went up against the NY Mets in Citi Field.

“We just sent Ryne Harper down and brought up Dakota Bacus from the Alternate Site, so at this point we felt like Harper needed a break,” Martinez said at the start of his pregame call this afternoon.

“He’s going to go down to Fredericksburg, and Bacus has been throwing the ball really well down there, we got good reports from him, so we just wanted to bring up a fresh arm.”

Bacus, 29, will make his MLB debut the first time he gets into a game. A 2012 9th Round pick by the Oakland Athletics, the right-hander was acquired by the Nationals in a deal which sent Kurt Suzuki to the A’s on Aug. 23, 2013 and he re-signed with the organization following the 2019 season.

Harper, Martinez said, will be eligible to return to the club in 10 days.

“He has to go down — I say 10 days because — but he has to go down — unless somebody gets hurt, we can’t bring him back up before ten days, unless there’s an injury.”