Bullpen help on the way in Doolittle and Madson

Sandy Mccarthy
July 17, 2017

The Nationals bullpen needs assistance as the team has blown 14 saves on the season.

The Washington Nationals have acquired relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for pitcher Blake Treinen and two prospects, the team announced.

Madson meanwhile, has a 2.11 ERA, one save, and 38 strikeouts in 38.1 innings in Oakland this season.

The A's get Treinen, a sinkerballer who is 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in 37 2/3 innings over 37 games, as well as minor-league infielder Sheldon Neuse and left-hander Jesus Luzardo. Unfortunately for the Nats, it seemed he didn't have his best stuff for most of this season, struggling in save situations especially.

Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle were teammates at UVa back in 2005
The Washington Nationals acquired Sean Doolittle from the Oakland A's Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle were teammates at UVa back in 2005

Both Doolittle and Madson would conceivably help the Nationals bullpen turn things around. While moving past the first round is the next task, a World Series is an ultimate goal. Both pitchers have closing experience as well, and would be major upgrades to a Washington bullpen that hasn't found consistency in the closer role all season. He has spent his entire Major League Baseball career in Oakland.

Nationals closer Koda Glover converted eight of 10 save chances but has not pitched since June 10 because of severe inflammation of the rotator cuff. In Treinen, the A's are acquiring a young, controllable reliever who's oozing with talent and potential. MLB.com ranked Neuse as the system's sixth-best prospect thanks to his well-rounded set of skills and potential to become a regular at third. In Single-A Hagerstown this season, he has hit.291 with nine homers while typically batting in the heart of the lineup. After being selected in the second round of last year's draft, he has developed well. Luzardo fell in the 2016 draft because he underwent Tommy John surgery on March 22, 2016 during his high school career at Stoneman Douglas High (Fla.). Although he is an intriguing prospect, he is still years away from making an impact at the big-league level.

Want your voice heard? The Nationals interest in numerous relievers has intensified the last few weeks, and we can now add two more to that ever growing list.

Incidents such as Saturday night, when Austin Adams and Trevor Gott combined to give up six hits, two walks and seven runs without recording a single out, only make matters more hard. It appears the days of watching a awful Nats bullpen could finally be behind us.

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