Nationals make roster moves

Following Sunday’s loss to the Marlins, the Nationals optioned reliever Saul Rivera and catcher Josh Bard to Triple-A Syracuse and designated relievers Steven Shell and Wil Ledezma for assignment.

On Monday, the Nationals will select right-handers Jordan Zimmermann and Kip Wells from Syracuse and recall right-handers Garrett Mock and Jason Bergmann from Syracuse. Bergmann, Mock and Wells will work out of the bullpen. 

The Nationals made most of the moves because the bullpen has a 6.48 ERA in 41 2/3 innings this season.

“The incompetence of the bullpen was drawn to a head today,” acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. “It got to a point where it wasn’t fair to the fans and it wasn’t fair to the rest of the team, the starting pitchers, too, to go status quo.”  

Zimmermann was named Washington’s fifth starter during Spring Training with the understanding he would pitch with Syracuse until his services were needed 11 games into the Nationals’ schedule. He made one start with the Chiefs, tossing 5.1 innings on April 9 vs. Rochester. The 22-year-old went 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA in five games (three starts) this spring, and he held opponents scoreless in four of his five outings.

Wells, 31, has compiled 65 wins during his 10 seasons in the big leagues with the White Sox Pirates, Rangers, Cardinals, Rockies and Royals. In 51 career relief appearances, he owns a 6-3 record with a 3.43 ERA. He went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts with Syracuse, after earning a win in his lone Spring Training relief appearance.

Mock made five relief appearances with Syracuse, after an impressive Spring Training in which he compiled a 3.94 ERA in 14 relief outings.

Bergmann, 27, tallied a 3.00 ERA and one save in four relief outings with Syracuse. Bergmann went 1-0 and allowed no earned runs in nine relief appearances this spring.  


I’ll go ahead and say this, I don’t see how this is going to solve anything in Washington, it will just make matters worse.

Joe Beimel needs to be made the closer, too.

Put the pressure off Hanrahan. Make him the set up guy.

Google “The Legend of Joe Beimel”

He’s AWESOME!!!!!

That is the lineup that should have come north. Shell is the only one of those who could still be salvaged. I would make the big lefty they drafted last year a closer. There is young guys all over the league pitching. Give him a shot. What’s he going to do,lose a game? Shawn Hill is doing what he should be doing here.

The organization has made some panicky moves in the past (Milledge and Dukes of late come to mind, though I’m not a Nats fan so I don’t have much perspective), but these don’t seem to be panicky. The bullpen has been a huge problem and the fact that the organization is willing to address the issue immediately seems like a step in the right direction. It’s not like they’re demoting one of the guys in their core group, just a full spare parts. I like it.

The forecast says 90% rain all evening. What happens if the game gets rained out on Monday. Will Zimmermann pitch Tuesday or would that throw off the rest of the rotation?

Enjoy Kip Wells as his ERA balloons over 5.50+

nmdef2006: This may not be the perfect solution (making Beimel the closer would come closer to a better solution) but how can this make anything worse? I think addressing the problem now is a step in the right direction…rather than keeping heads in the sand like last year.

PWHjort: Not sure what you mean about Milledge and Dukes being a panicky decision. Milledge couldn’t catch a fly ball if his life depended on it and was the worse lead off batter I’ve ever seen. Sending him down and putting in Dukes was a great decision.

What about Colome? I don’t know much about Wells. Give him a shot, he can’t be worse than what we’ve had. Bergmann is a retread, but he pitched well this Spring. When he’s on, he’s really good, and when he’s off he’s really bad. In the past he’s been off more often then he’s been on. Mock? I’ve never seen him pitch a reliable inning, sort of like Hanrahan. I’d rather have kept Shell. They’re still dodging the real problem — Acta. True, Acta couldn’t pitch for those guys, but better handling of pitchers (100 pitch count) would have improved the reliever situation. Finally, we’re still stuck with Hanrahan who I’ve never seen pitch well. We need to trade for a proven pitcher, and we need to give Pedro Martinez a shot — it’s just money.

Geez, it looks like the same ol’ days for this ballclub as the the Senators in Griffith and RFK Stadiums – empty seats, bad talent, etc. I saw ESPN lowlights and there couldn’t have been 5,000 in the seats in the latter innings. Bud Selig didn’t do MLB any favors by putting a third franchise in Washington D.C. It never has been a baseball town and never will be. MLB was better off leaving Montreal where they were or moving them to Portland. Implode that franchise now before it gets any worse.

In watching the Nats, I think that they are a lot closer to an above .500 club than one might think. IMO, while they continue to persue the correct rotation and particularly an effective ninth inning guy, they are sending a good message to a young club… you don’t perform, and we’ll bring a bus ticket to the mound when we ask for the ball. If they continue to hit the ball well, things will start to turn. BTW, I know I’m an optimist, but I think they’re close.

Look I am not ashamed of my nats it’s still early in the season & a long time till we see the fish again. the nats need to have a consist lineup instead of constantly changin leave cristian alone put ronnie at second, nick at first keep dunn in the OF yea i know your giving up speed put willingham in center and have him swap with milledge & kearns is fine. Hanranhan is a good closer with a great fastball the problem is the bullpen that can’t hold it.yesterday why was rivera closing instead of beimel
KEEP THIS in MIND ya”ll our first win was the against the Champs

really they need a veteran SP in that lineup someone who eats up innings kip wells, josh towers can both do it & where is Ross detwiler why isn’t he in the bullpen their pressuring zimmerman too fast on the mound

Acta did a really dumb thing in intentionally walking R Gload in the ninth.

Gload is backup quality, an infrequent starter, a mediocre stick.

Three stud hitters behind him. An all-star hitter in D Uggla and two red-hot hitters in J Hermida, lefty, and C Ross.

Acta was going for righty-righty and DP possibility vs Uggla.

But the play was to go after Gload to get the second out.

That was a gift, and the Nats do not need their mgr handing out any of those.

I must admit that I am pleased that the organization sees there are troubles and made the big move in the pen. But based on spring training performances it is still a big question mark whether there will be any improvement. Good move on Bard too….couldnt throw to second and his bat wasnt that impressive. Besides Nieves is our backup and is a better leader. Maxwell is a BIG addtion to our outfield and I am excited to see if he lives up to his prediction of being the best outfielder we have. I am not expecting a spectacuar outting from Zimmermann just give us consistancy. If this doesnt work then well guess who might be next to go……

I would just like to say that I do not appreciate Acta using the bullpen as scape goat here. The ballclubs problems are much deeper and belittling them on television was a weak move. How about the 24 runner left on base orr the 2 errors in yesterday’s game? The root of most business problems lie in the management and this no exception. They need to get these players more focused at practice and during games. I get the sense that they guys are competing against each other more than they are playing as a team. Please Nat’s management, get this team under control and focused and they will start winning.

These bullpen moves, as well as the demotion of Milledge, have to be made. The complete ineptitude of the relief is not acceptable. I think the candor diplayed by Rizzo is refreshing, and should be applauded. Hopefully, Acta and the staff will provide the necessary leadership to keep the season from completely imploding by May.

The first roster move we need dto make is to get rid of Manny Acta. Not only does he not fully understand the game, from mine and many others observations, but he has no fire, no passion for the game or the team and is too buddy buddy with his players. When he came out of the dugout the other night to argue balls and strikes I almost feel over, but even that effort lacked a certain kind of passion. He does not have the respect of the fans and more than likely from the players.
GET RID OF ACTA NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hang in there Nats !!!!

I hope the wholesale changes instituted do not condemn the chemistry or confidence of the remaining Bullpen guys.
That small group of pitchers have the most fragile egos in sports.
One bad outing and fans can want their hides on the grill and roasted to a gleaming golden brown before throwing them to the wolves.
I have friend who work out of the Bullpen all aorund basbeall, and they always tell me they are aonly as good as their last outing.
Hopefully there will be a beginning to gel of this new Bullpen unit, and they can provide the Nats with some shutdown innings with minimal damage.

Rays Renegade

Geez, it looks like the same ol’ days for this ballclub as the the Senators in Griffith and RFK Stadiums – empty seats, bad talent, etc. I saw ESPN lowlights and there couldn’t have been 5,000 in the seats in the latter innings. Bud Selig didn’t do MLB any favors by putting a third franchise in Washington D.C. It never has been a baseball town and never will be. MLB was better off leaving Montreal where they were or moving them to Portland. Implode that franchise now before it gets any worse.

buickman, you obviously do not know what you are talking about. The Nats were leading two of those games against the Marlins in the 9th Inning (and would have swept the series if the bullpen had not faltered), and there were still approximately 20,000 fans in their seats in each of those two games….I know because I was there. As for Bud Selig, he didn’t do the Nationals any favors by allowing the farm system to be robbed of all the talent before allowing a sale to Washington, DC. MANY MLB all-stars are from what is now the Nationals farm system….those guys should be wearing Nationals Jersey’s right now. The Nationals are doing much better in attendance than they were in Montreal, and I doubt very seriously that Portland would have beaten DC’s attendance. Check last years stats, DC beat out alot of other MLB clubs in attendance. You can take your foot out of your mouth now.

Relievers’ yearly stats are not relevant because the sample size it too small. That’s what makes NYY Rivera so special. His stats are steady year to year.
Saul Rivera just hit a hiccup in his career.
Ledesma, who knows here. We haven’t seen him enough. Steven Shell seems to just be in the blast area. Not quite an innocent victim, but pretty close.
Josh Bard should never have been put on the 25 man roster.

All that said Rizzo and Acta are still cleaning up the collection of players so the ones that do stay really fit together as a team.
I remember when Acta was first introduced he said he would work on fundamentals, fielding hitting and pitching. He is now at the point where he can. I’d like to see the team having some “fundamentals practice” at least once a week. It will help he get the focus of the players where it belongs, on playing the game correctly.
Finally, this team does not need an emotional leader,it just got rid of JimBo. The players need steady leaders. Acta and Rizzo have the right demeanor to get past this present hurdle.

Being an hugh Washington Nationals fan I must pipe into this stream of thought. I must also agree with Mannymustgo, who states that Manny is very reluctant to go the distance with the current line-up afforded to him. It is very apparent that Manny Acta is competing his own players against each other and that this is one of many factors in the play of the team. But I believe that one of the greatest mistakes being made by our beloved Manager is the misuse of his starting rotation. All of my 52 years on the Earth, I have been told that all the great pitchers of the game, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford, etc. are the greatest pitcher in the game because they completed more games then they were taking out for a reliever. These are the pitchers Americans use as players to imitate. But in today’s game pitcher are restricted to a mere 5 or 6 innings. They are told to reserve their arms for the distance. The fact of the matter is that restricting pitchers to such limited work, leads to injury and shorten careers.
Manny Acta, I believe that you are damaging your starting pitchers. These find young pitchers for the last few games have been shutting down the other team. Yet you pull them after the first miscue of the sixth or seventh inning. Let them complete a game…. let them complete all of their games! All you need is faith in your staff and a few fireballer relievers.
Mr. Acta stop denying the pitchers on your team from induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I can tell you that we have great young pitchers…..Cut them loose and see what happens.


The legend of joe beimel is pretty good.

I wonder what they’ll do with the bullpen now that they have some decent pitchers in there, i don’t think Wells will do that well, he’s a long relief man and can’t be counted on to get that big out late in games. Bergmann’s the same way but since he’s switched to bullpen only, he’ll probably take rivera’s slot in the 7th inning. I do with they could put Beimel in the closer role, he’s done very well against both lefty’s and righty’s for a lefty reliever (which is true from his years in LA, and his era was so low last year because halfway through teh season they made him a lefty-specialist, which was dumb because he’s just as good against righty’s)

Nats made some moves and I saw on sportscenter that they won maybe its exactly what the Nationals needed.

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