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.