Results tagged ‘ Collin Balester ’

Nats recall Detwiler, designated Balester for assignment

The Nationals recalled left-hander Ross Detwiler from Triple A Syracuse and designated right-hander Collin Balester for assignment on Tuesday afternoon.

Detwiler was 6-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 16 starts for Syracuse at the time of his promotion. He made his first Major League start of the season Tuesday against the Cubs.

Manager Davey Johnson is hoping that Detwiler will stay for more than one game. Johnson said he has been looking for a sixth starter, a long man and extra left-hander out of the bullpen. Detwiler could accomplish all three things.

“As far as I’m concern, he’s not called on for one start,” Johnson said. “He is so valuable, if [general manager Mike Rizzo] lets me keep him, I will still use him kind of in a rotation role out of the ‘pen as if he was starting. He will have side work before I bring him back.”

Balester, who was 1-1 with a 4.61 ERA in eight relief appearances with Washington, is expected to remain in the Nationals organization and return to Syracuse by Thursday. In the meantime, Balester was put on optional Major League waivers.

According to Baseball Prospectus, “optional Major League waivers are required when optioning a player who is more than three calendar years removed from his first appearance on a major-league roster. This procedure allows a club to send a player to the Minor Leagues while keeping him on the 40-man roster. Because optional waivers are revocable, players usually clear in this scenario.”

Balester optioned to make way for Strasburg

After Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers, the Nationals optioned right-hander Collin Baletser to Triple-A Syracuse and will activate right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.

Balester, who was not available for comment, appeared in six games and allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .333 against him. With Balester gone, right-handers Miguel Batista and Craig Stammen are Washington’s long men out of the bullpen.

As for Strasburg, he will pitch against the Marlins on Tuesday. It will be his first start since July 21 against the Reds. He missed his last three starts because of shoulder stiffness. Strasburg, the ace of Washington’s pitching staff, is 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA in nine starts.  

Balester back with Nats — for a day

The Nationals have recalled right-hander Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. He will replace right-hander Luis Atilano for a day and then be sent back to Syracuse. The team will then recall left-hander Ross Detwiler to start Sunday’s game against Milwaukee.

Balester was brought in just in case right-hander J.D. Martin doesn’t have a quality start on Saturday evening against the Brewers. If Martin doesn’t perform well on the mound, Balester could come in and pitch in long relief.

After six years-plus years as a starter, Balester was converted into a reliever this spring. In 26 appearances, Balester is 2-3 with 7.27 ERA for Syracuse. 
 

Nats make roster moves; Mock almost in rotation

The Nationals made their third round of roster cuts Monday as they optioned right-hander Collin Balester and left-hander Atahualpa Severino to Triple-A Syracuse, right-hander Ryan Mattheus and left-hander Aaron Thompson to Double-A Harrisburg and right-hander Juan Jamie to Class-A Potomac. The Nationals also released left-hander Ron Villone.

With the moves, Washington’s Major League roster is now down to 45 players.

Of the names off the roster, Balester, Thompson and Villone were the most intriguing. Villone was a favorite of manager Jim Riggleman’s. Last season, Villone was the veteran leader of the bullpen, pitching in 63 games and had a 4.25 ERA. This spring, Villone was hit hard, allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings. 

“That was tough, not just for me but for [general manager Mike] Rizzo, [pitching coach] Steve McCatty and a lot of people in the clubhouse in general,” Riggleman said. “He is such a class act. He is a wonderful guy. He was an effective pitcher for us last year.”

With Villone gone, the Nationals most likely will carry one lefty reliever — Sean Burnett — on the 25-man roster, even though left-handers Jesse English and Doug Slaten are still in camp.

Riggleman has often said he is confident that right-hander Tyler Clippard can get left-handed hitters out. Lefties hit .122 against him last year.  

Thompson, who was acquired in the Nick Johnson trade last July, pitched four shutout innings and impressed the big-league staff, but he wasn’t considered part of the mix. Riggleman hinted that right-handed Garrett Mock has been impressive and most likely be in the rotation. Mock hasn’t walked a batter in five innings entering Monday’s action. 

“It’s very important to him to pitch to contact and that is not easy for him,” Riggleman said about Mock. “When your ball moves a lot, sometimes it could move out of the strike zone. But he has been able to keep his movement in the strike zone. Even when he doesn’t throw a strike, it has the appearance of a strike. So hitters might swing at it. That’s huge.” 

Livan  Hernandez is considered the leading candidate to take over the fifth spot of the rotation. John Lannan, Jason Marquis and Scott Olsen are already in the rotation.  

Inconsistency is the reason Balester was sent down, giving up four runs in four innings. Rizzo believes Balester has the pitches to get people out.

“The stuff is there,” Rizzo said. “He has a good fastball and a good breaking pitch at times. We still have high hopes for him. He is going to go down and master his craft, get him in the strike zone a little better and be more consistently.”                   

Stammen, Balester out for season

Nationals right-handers Craig Stammen and Collin Balester are out for the season. Stammen has a bone spur in the back of his right elbow, while Balester has a strain on his left side. Both players are expected to be ready for Spring Training.      

Stammen will have arthroscopic surgery on the elbow Sunday. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the team’s medical director. Stammen started 19 games for Washington, going  4-7 with a 5.11 ERA.  

Stammen has been playing in pain the entire season, but he felt he could still pitch through it. Stammen was happy the injury wasn’t much worse.

“It’s a relief. It’s never good to have surgery. I guess it’s one of those things that comes up with pitching,” Stammen said. “I decided not to tell anybody about it for the whole season. I decided to pitch through it. I don’t regret anything for a second. I was lucky to take the opportunity when it was given to me.”

As for Balester, he will be shut down for two weeks before participating in baseball activities. By the time he is ready, however, the season will be over. Balester was 1-4 with a 6.82 ERA in seven big-league starts.

The Nationals don’t need a fifth starter until the Sept. 12 against the Marlins. So the plan is to call up another starter until the season is over for Triple-A Syracuse.  

More on Jordan Zimmermann

Following Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the Mets, the Nationals placed right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 19, because of right elbow discomfort and recalled right-hander Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse.

Zimmermann was scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals on Thursday but Balester will get the nod instead. Balester, 23, went 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA in his last 12 starts with Syracuse. Over that period he posted 41 strikeouts and a .274 opponent’s batting average in 69 1/3 innings. Overall, he went 7-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 19 starts.

Zimmermann started feeling pain during his last start, against the Cubs on Saturday. When he again felt pain after a bullpen session on Tuesday, the Nationals decided to shut him down for three or four weeks. The hope is that he will be ready for a rehab assignment at that time.

“I’m not really concerned at all,” Zimmermann said. “I’m going to give it a little rest here and come back. I’ll have one rehab start and be ready to go.”

Once Zimmermann returns, he is expected to pitch the rest of the season, according to acting general manager Mike Rizzo. The original plan was to shut him down sometime in August.

“Zim could pitch tomorrow if he had to pitch,” Rizzo said. “Instead of sending him out there against the Cardinals and have him pitch in a stressful situation, we are going to be cautious and shut him down.

“He is one of our prize prospects, and we are not going to do anything crazy with him. Like we handle all of our pitchers, like [Ross] Detwiler, [Shairon] Martis, Craig Stammen, [John] Lannan and Zimmermann, we are going to be very careful with them and look out for their best interests long-term, not [with the] short-term goals of winning a game.”

Zimmermann, 23, is 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 16 starts this season. He is among the National League rookie leaders in strikeouts, starts, innings and wins.

Zimmermann on DL; Balester to pitch Thursday

Following Wednesday’s game against the Mets, the Nationals placed right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 19, with right elbow discomfort and recalled right-handed pitcher Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse.  

Balester will get the starting nod in Thursday’s makeup game against the Cardinals. The 23-year-old went 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA in his last 12 starts with Syracuse. Over that period, he posted 41 strikeouts and a .274 batting average against in 69 1/3 innings. Overall, Balester went 7-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 19 starts.

 

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