SNIDER: A kingdom for a Nats reliever

Rick Snider
April 29, 2019 - 1:24 pm
A kingdom for a Nationals reliever

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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For a team that excels in finding young talent, the Nationals can't develop a reliever to save their seasons.

It takes three outs, three lousy outs to escape an inning no matter if it's the seventh, eighth or ninth. Yet, Washington keeps blowing games in the seventh and eighth innings with a crew that can't get them.

Wander Suero is 1-3 with an 8.18 ERA. Tony Sipp is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA. Trevor Rosenthal is 0-1 and a 36.00 ERA. Matt Grace is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.

Friends, I give you the reason why the Nats are 12-14 and probably looking at a .500 season. None of this foursome is likely to see September in Washington, but unless general manager Mike Rizzo finds replacements soon, the Nats won't see October.

The big problem is teams aren't ready to sell their bullpen. That usually comes in July when losing franchises start worrying about the future. It's too soon to tell fans to forget the rest of this year by peddling a good player.

But the Nats can't wait until July to change the bullpen. They need help now, because it's unlikely any of their gang of four is going to suddenly pitch well.

What's amazing is how well Rizzo and Co. has found talent elsewhere. Sunday's game saw two 21-year-olds and a 20-year-old hit home runs. The Nats opted not to pay Bryce Harper a king's ransom because of its widespread youth movement of Juan Soto, Victor Robles and even Carter Kieboom that complements Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman, though the last three are currently hurt.

It's not injuries hurting the Nats, though. It's a bullpen that surrendered eight leads. Fans need to watch the latter innings with their hands over their eyes. It's time to make some bold moves, maybe even try promoting some minor league prospects, because what's happening now isn't working.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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