Results tagged ‘ Logan Kensing ’

Nats release Dukes; may have interest in Dye

The Nationals released right fielder Elijah Dukes and right-hander Logan Kensing on Wednesday morning.

Dukes’ release is the most significant because he was slated to be the starting right fielder, but he was not producing during Spring Training, going 3-for-20 (.150) with five strikeouts. He had problems hitting breaking balls, and he was suffering from knee and foot issues.

General manager Mike Rizzo said Dukes was released based on performance, not any off-the-field incidents. But Rizzo did say the clubhouse would be more united.

“We just didn’t see the progress we hoped to get,” Rizzo said. “This was not a knee-jerk reaction on several Spring Training at-bats. We spoke about this throughout the winter internally. We had a game plan in place to see who was going to claim the job, and we thought we should go in a different direction by releasing Elijah.

“The things that happened in the clubhouse are clubhouse matters. We are not going to go into any details on what happened behind closed doors. We have a more cohesive, united group. I think the chemistry will continue to be great. We think we are going to be a better ballclub moving forward.”

Before giving Dukes his unconditional release, Rizzo tried to trade the right-handed-hitting slugger, but there were no takers. The organization even felt that going to the Minor Leagues wasn’t going to help Dukes.

“We felt that he was a Major League player,” Rizzo said. “We didn’t feel it would help his development by sending him to the Minor Leagues. We thought that it was best for him get a fresh start with a different organization and for us to move on.”

Spring Training looked so promising for Dukes. Manager Jim Riggleman indicated that the job in right field was Dukes’ to lose. Dukes came into camp in great spirits and without his advisor, James Williams, who was dismissed after being on the team’s payroll the previous two years.

The Nationals felt that Dukes, 25, was mature enough to take care of himself. After he returned from Triple-A Syracuse last August, for example, Dukes was media friendly and often talked about what he needed to do to get better on the field.

This spring, Dukes continued to say all the right things about staying in shape, as well as stating that he wasn’t going to assume he was going to play every day.

“At the same time, I’m not laying back. I’m going at it every day in Spring Training,” Dukes said last month.

With Dukes gone, there are three scenarios the Nationals could look into.

The first is a platoon between Justin Maxwell and Willie Harris. Both players can play defense and are above-average hitters who have produced this spring. Maxwell leads the team in walks (seven) and runs scored (eight), while Harris, one of the clubhouse leaders, was 7-for-21 (.333) with a home run and five RBIs entering Wednesday. In fact, Harris played right against the Marlins on Tuesday.

The second is platooning Harris with Mike Morse, who is have a great spring, hitting .333 with four RBIs. Morse hasn’t played the past three games because of the flu.

“I think Willie is a good player, good hitter against right-handed pitching,” Riggleman said. “Willie is a very good left fielder. He is less experienced in right.”

The last time Harris played often was in 2008. He saw himself in the lineup because of injuries to Dukes and Austin Kearns. Harris hit .251 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs that year.

Maxwell said the team had distractions with Dukes, but wouldn’t say what they were. However, he is looking forward to getting a chance to show what he can do on the field.

“I’m working on some things with hitting coach Rick Eckstein,” Maxwell said. “I’m trying to find my comfort zone. That’s the beauty of Spring Training. You find your swing, be ready to go whenever we start.”

If the two scenarios don’t work out, the Nationals could go out into the free-agent market. They do have interest in outfielder Jermaine Dye. The right-handed-hitting outfielder played for the White Sox last season, and hit .250 with 27 home runs and 81 RBIs.

“We feel that we have the candidates to play right field here in camp, but there is always a possibility of doing a lot of things via free agency, trades or waiver claim,” Rizzo said. “We are not going to focus on one form of acquiring a player. We are going to think outside the box and do what we have to do to improve the ballclub.”

Where’s Roger Bernadina? As of now, he does not appear to be in the mix. But things could change. He was asked to change his swing recently, and Bernadina has agreed to make the necessary adjustments.

As for Kensing, he was sent to Minor League camp last week and was told Tuesday that his services were no longer needed. Last year, he pitched in 26 games for Washington and had a 8.68 ERA.

With those moves, the club trimmed its roster to 44 players.

Nats call up Mike Morse [update]

To replace Logan Kensing on the roster, the Nationals have purchased the contract of infielder Mike Morse from Triple-A Syracuse. Morse, who came from the Mariners in the Ryan Langerhans trade last June, is hitting .327 with six home runs and 31 RBIs for Syracuse.

Nats designate Logan Kensing for assignment

The Nationals designated reliever Logan Kensing for assignment after Sunday’s game against Reds.

Kensing was given the news by interim manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and acting general manager Mike Rizzo, when the team arrived at Nationals Park later that night.

Kensing was 0-2 with a 10.71 ERA in 17 games for Washington.

On Saturday, Riggleman acknowledged that he was baffled about Kensing’s performance of late. In his past six appearances, Kensing gave up 12 runs in his past 7 1/3 innings. Riggleman doesn’t think there is something wrong with Kensing’s arm. In Saturday’s game against Cincinnati, in fact, Kensing’s fastball was clocked at 96 mph.

“[Pitching coach] Steve McCatty and I talk about it a lot,” Riggleman said. “Something is easy to see for the hitter or Kensing is tipping his pitches, because when you throw that good and [the hitters] square the ball up on him like they have the last couple of weeks, something is wrong there.

“He throws too good to get hit that hard. We hope he gets it straightened out. We wanted to him have a clean inning and build on it. It just didn’t happened.”

It’s not known who the Nationals will call up on Tuesday. The Nationals are considering either outfielder Justin Maxwell or infielder Mike Morse, who are with Triple-A Syracuse. 

Maxwell had two stints with Washington this season, going 3-for-24 with an RBI. Morse, who came from the Mariners in the Ryan Langerhans trade last June, is hitting .327 with six home runs and 31 RBIs for Syracuse.

Julian Tavarez off 25-man roster; Logan Kensing promoted

After their 11-3 loss to the Cubs, the Nationals designated right-hander Julian Tavarez for assignment and selected the contract of right-hander Logan Kensing from Triple-A Syracuse. Associate reporter Mark Selig will have more information later on       

Nats acquire Logan Kensing [Update]

In need of bullpen help, the Nationals acquired right-hander Logan Kensing from the Marlins for right-hander Kyle Gunderson on Wednesday. The news comes four days after Florida designated Kensing for assignment.

Kensing, 26, joined the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon and will be available to pitch in the middle innings, according to manager Manny Acta. This season, Kensing pitched in six games for Florida and gave up eight runs in 7 1/3 innings. His best season was in 2008, when he went 3-1 with a 4.23 ERA.

“We like him. He is a guy who has a pretty good arm. We have seen him for a couple of years in our division,” Acta said. “We are trying to stack up some power arms and do whatever we can to get this bullpen going.  

“There is no setup role for him right now. We are going to try to get a feel for him first in the middle of the games and see what he could do for us. He is not coming in here with any role.”

Kensing found out about the trade on Tuesday at 11:00 p.m. ET. Then he took a plane from Miami to Philadelphia the next day.  

“I’m excited. It’s always good to have a job,” Kensing said. “Things [on the field] didn’t happen the way I wanted to early in Florida. But the team gave me another chance by sending me here. The Nationals have a real good lineup to pitch for.”

In order to put Kensing on the roster, the Nationals optioned right-hander Jason Bergmann to Triple-A Syracuse and placed Roger Bernadina on the 60-day disabled list. Acta said Bergmann wasn’t happy about hearing the news.

Bergmann, 27, had a 3.60 ERA in three relief appearances with the Nationals, after he was recalled from Syracuse on April 20. Although Bergmann had a better showing on the mound than reliever Saul Rivera, the team felt Rivera has a good enough track record to keep him around.

“We don’t want anybody to be happy when they are sent down,” Acta said. “The move wasn’t about Bergmann. It was about making room for Logan over here. Bergmann has to continue to throw the ball over there like he has been throwing it. I’m sure we’ll see him again.

“Saul was the best middle reliever on this team for the last three years. Compiling over 70 appearances during the last two years has to account for something. Saul [is] having a rough time. We feel we can get him back on track and be valuable again.”

As for Gunderson, he was drafted the Nationals in the 48th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Before the trade, he was pitching for Class A Potomac and was 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five relief appearances. 

Nats acquire Logan Kensing

In need of bullpen help, the Nationals have acquired right-hander Logan Kensing from the Marlins for Minor League pitcher Kyle Gunderson. 

The team did not announce when Kensing will join the team, however, he is expected to pitch in the middle to late innings.

This season, Kensing played in six games for Florida and gave up eight runs in 7 1/3 innings. His best season was in 2008, when he went 3-1 with a 4.23 ERA.

In order to put Kensing on the roster, the Nationals have optioned Jason Bergman to Triple-A Syracuse and placed Roger Bernadina on the 60-day disabled list.  

There will be more to come