Results tagged ‘ blake treinen ’
By Bill Ladson
WASHINGTON — Nationals reliever Blake Treinen has been virtually unhittable since returning from Triple-A Syracuse on Aug. 6. Since his return, Treinen has pitched nine shutout innings with 10 strikeouts.
The key, according to Treinen, has been staying aggressive in the strike zone, thanks to his 98-mph slider. Getting ahead of hitters also has played a role in his success.
Before he went to the Minor Leagues, Treinen had mixed results with the slider. There were days when it would be sharp and breaking in the inner and outer half of the plate and other days when it would act like a slurvy pitch and stay up in the strike zone. Against the Dodgers on July 19 at Nationals Park, he pitched one-third of an inning and allowed four runs, and was sent to the Minors after the game.
Looking back, Treinen said going to Syracuse was a blessing in disguise.
“Everybody is going to be frustrated when they are told they are going down. But looking back, it was all part of a plan and a purpose for my career,” Treinen said. “The Nationals saw something that needed to be fixed. You have to adjust yourself with the right mindset.
“I was fortunate to get myself in the right mindset to go down and work on things. I know I have been given an opportunity and privilege to be up here. I don’t want to squander it by being pigheaded and not trying to make adjustments. Obviously something wasn’t working. I feel really blessed to have an opportunity to be back with this club.”
By Andrew Simon
WASHINGTON — From 2010-14, Tyler Clippard averaged 74 appearances out of the Nationals bullpen. Other than a stint as closer in 2012, he did most of his work as a set-up man, pitching in the eighth inning nearly 50 times per year over that stretch.
On Wednesday night, the Nationals led the Mets, 2-1, heading into the eighth. This would have been Clippard’s spot, but he was traded to the A’s during the offseason, and Drew Storen took over for Rafael Soriano at closer. That left manager Matt Williams without a clear right-handed option for the eighth inning, to use alongside lefty Matt Thornton.
At least on this day, Williams turned to Blake Treinen, a 26-year-old righty with 15 games of Major League experience, including eight relief appearances. The manager said that was his plan coming into the game, and it worked, as Treinen tossed a scoreless inning, and the Nats won, 2-1.
This was a new experience for Treinen, who mostly started in the Minors. Of his eight times working out of the bullpen last year, all but one came in a Nats loss or blowout win. Baseball-Reference.com’s average leverage index, which measures the pressure during a pitcher’s outing, puts Wednesday’s appearance as the highest-leverage of Treinen’s young career.
“Even last year in the bullpen, I didn’t really come in for one-run leads,” Treinen said. “So its still new, but I enjoyed it
“It’s something I’ll get adjusted to. I don’t think it bothers me. I enjoy those moments.”
Treinen tries not to approach things much differently out of the bullpen. But a short stint can allow him to dial up his velocity while focusing on his sinker and slider and pushing aside his third pitch, a changeup.
On Wednesday, Treinen threw two sliders and 11 sinkers, which averaged a blazing 97.7 mph, according to BrooksBaseball.net. The Mets did hit a couple of balls hard, with David Wright ripping a one-out single to right before Lucas Duda lined into an inning-ending double play.
But for context, of all pitchers who threw at least 200 sinkers last year, PITCHf/x measured only two who topped that average velocity. Treinen’s stuff certainly impressed Williams, who envisions him as a big part of the bullpen.
“He’s running the ball in there at 98 mph with some good sink,” Williams said afterward. “I’m happy with the way he went about it tonight. Certainly be more opportunities for him.”
By Andrew Simon
VIERA, Fla. — Wednesday was the Nationals’ second-to-last day of workouts before their Grapefruit League schedule begins on Friday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Here are some notes, observations and photos from the club’s Spring Training complex:
- Stephen Strasburg threw live batting practice to a group including Ryan Zimmerman, Tyler Moore and Adam LaRoche and had the catcher’s glove popping with each fastball.
- During batting practice, non-roster right-hander Clay Hensley accidentally drilled second baseman Anthony Rendon in the back with one of his offerings. He apologized profusely, and Rendon was able to laugh it off, even if he’ll likely be sporting a bruise by Thursday.
- Minor League righty Blake Treinen, coming off a strong season at Double-A Harrisburg, made a good impression while throwing to fellow prospects Steven Souza, Michael Taylor and Brian Goodwin. The 25-year-old’s stuff, which manager Matt Williams called “electric,” prompted veteran catcher Koyie Hill to tell Treinen after his session that he’s going to strike it rich during his career.
- Williams also was impressed with reliever Drew Storen, especially the way he got good action down in the zone with his changeup, drawing some swings and misses.
Tomorrow: The Nats will have a lighter workout day on Thursday, something more like what they will have once games start. They also will be on the field at Space Coast Stadium instead of the complex’s back fields.
Looking ahead: The Nationals announced their lineup for Friday’s game, which will feature the debut of outfielder Nate McLouth. Taylor Jordan will get the start, with A.J. Cole, Christian Garcia, Xavier Cedeno, Manny Delcarmen, Aaron Barrett, Danny Rosenbaum and Tyler Robertson scheduled to follow.
Worth noting: Williams plans to have his veterans make plenty of road trips, including Friday’s, saying “there’s no getting around it,” considering how often the club must go long distances to face Grapefruit League opponents. Asked if that decision includes outfielder Jayson Werth, Williams answered, “It most certainly does.”
Worth quoting: “It’s nerve-racking because I’ve never been on this side of it, but at the same time it’s rewarding that we’ve gotten here and now we’re on the verge of starting games and having it ramp up a little bit and have it get a little bit faster for everyone. I’m looking forward to it.” — Williams, on experiencing his first Spring Training as a manager.
Further reading: Brock Peterson, in camp on a Minor League deal, is trying to author a better second chapter to his big league career after struggling following a long-awaited call-up with the Cardinals in 2013. Jordan is excited to make the first start of the spring.