WASHINGTON - Last season, Ben Braymer made 13 starts for Double-A Harrisburg and 13 starts for Triple-A Fresno.
But the left-hander from Baton Rouge got some bullpen experience at a high level in 2018.
“The good news about Ben is he was able to gain some experience (as a reliever) in the Fall League,” Nationals’ pitching coach Paul Menhart told Federal Baseball on Thursday from Florida. “It was not foreign to him.”
In nine games out of the bullpen, he posted an ERA of 5.40 for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League in 2018.
With a need for relievers, Braymer, 26, made his Major League debut for the Nationals on Aug. 28 at Boston as he allowed four hits and one run while retiring four batters. He then made his second appearance out of the bullpen on Wednesday, throwing a scoreless inning while allowing two hits in the 10-inning win at Tampa Bay after he was called back up from the alternate site Sept. 11.
Now, according to Menhart, Braymer could make a spot start this weekend in Florida against the Marlins.
Davey Martinez said on Wednesday that Braymer is, “definitely being considered to start one of those games.”
The Nationals are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday, a single game on Saturday, and another twin-bill on Sunday.
“He did not have as much success as we hoped early on (at Boston). Whenever you make your debut in the Big Leagues there is always a grace period to get used to with or without fans. He obviously has the stuff. It is just a matter of him trusting in it, believing in it,” Menhart said Thursday. “Once he establishes that he is a viable part of our future.”
Braymer was drafted in the 18th round in 2016 by the Nationals out of Auburn. He was a mid-season All-Star in the Eastern League last year for the game that was held in Richmond.