One more brilliant move by the man claiming to be a major league GM. Trading Tyler Clippard to save money! He then proceeded to pay out more than Clip would have cost for the guy who tried to strangle the best player on the team, and Casey Janssen who had just a few problems holding Nats leads in the late innings. If the Nats had had Clip, Stammen and Storen for the whole year, I’d bet they would have won 5-8 more games.
Most of you likely saw this in today’s Post already, but any mention of Tyler Clippard returning to the Nats “pen” calls for at least a brief comment:) After the bull-pen melt-down in Cincy, which included the first bad outing by Clip’s replacement Casey Janssen, most Nats fans are concerned, to say the least. Some shuffling of the “deck” has already occurrred. The article pointed out that if Oakland doesn’t start winning more games soon, they may be “sellers” at the July 31 trade deadline. And given that the Athletics have a history of many trades with Washington, it would not surprise many if Clippard returns to the Nats come July 31.
I heard talk of the following on MLB talk radio this morning: Wilson Ramos mentioned in an interview with 106.7 “The fan” radio that before the last game in Cincy (in which Joey Votto was hit by a pitch from Tanner Roark) the Nats had discussed exacting some retribution for the Reds pitchers hitting Gio twice and Bryce once in the previous two games. I hope this doesn’t result in a suspension or fine for the Nationals.
Matt Williams cost the Nats the game last night (April 21). In the 8th inning Tyler Clippard was on the mound. An Angels rally was gathering steam with two dangerous left-handed batters coming up (Aybar and Raul Ibanez). Ibanez is a well-known “Nats-Killer”. Everyone knows Clippard is having serious problems with Lefties, especially this year. The Nats had 3 left-handed pitchers in the pen and Cedeno was all warmed up. But Matt stuck with Clippard! I was screaming at my TV! I think even my 5-yr old grandson would have brought in Cedeno 🙂 So the bottom line is the Angels proceeded to score 4 runs as both batters came through with base hits, and Ibanez hit his over Bryce’s head in left field!
Ian Desmond’s 2 errors in the inning didn’t help! But errors happen, while manager decisions are avoidable.
I think the team brain-trust has been very concerned recently about the bull-pen. In my opinion. THAT is the Nat’s weakest link right now, and is the main reason for the decision to put Detwiler in that key group. He has what is needed for that role, experience and high heat. He also brings the pen a second lefty as well as the ability to play a variety of roles from long-relief as well as possibly closing a game or two.
The way I see it right now, six of the seven bull-pen spots are set. Here are my picks for those six: Soriano, Storen, Clippard (photo above), Detwiler, Blevins and Stammen. Unfortunately only two of this group have put up good numbers in spring training thus far: Blevins and Clippard. Soriano, the nominal “closer,” has looked like anything but that! The same goes for Drew Storen, the very effective closer a couple of years ago. So the chances are good that we may see Clippard closing games soon.
So, are you wondering who has the inside track on the remaining bull-pen slot? Glad you asked:) Aaron Barrett. Aaron was the closer last year for the Harrisburg Senators, the Nats’ AA team. He had a great season in that role. He also played in the Arizona Fall league for the team Matt Williams managed! A look at the outstanding numbers Aaron has put up this Spring, and I expect to see him throw an inning in today’s game; it will be televised:) The team brain-trust is talking a lot among themselves about this guy, trust me!
p.s. Click here to read about Clippard and the bobblehead campaign.