Bisenius grateful for health and shot with Nats

Nationals reliever Joe Bisenius is excited to get back to the majors and have a shot to pitch for the Washington Nationals.

In his major league debut, back in April of 2007 with the Phillies, he got Braves All-Star Chipper Jones to pop out and ended a threat in his first full inning of work. That game seemed like ages ago until he got it going this season.

The last two seasons he has battled through a couple of injuries to get back to feeling good again and pitching well.

The 6'4" right-hander from Sioux City, Iowa got his first chance with the Nats Saturday against the Marlins, pitching one inning and allowing one hit but no runs.

Bisenius, who attended Oklahoma City, pulled off a rare feat this season, playing at three levels of the minor leagues for the Nationals and then getting to Washington in September.

Bisenius played six games with Potomac, 14 with Harrisburg and 14 with Syracuse. He put together an impressive 4-0 record with a 3.05 ERA in 38.1 innings. His ERA was only 2.70 with the Chiefs.

"It is everyone's goal to get back to the big leagues, so it is definitely nice to be here now. I just want to show these guys what I can do," Bisenius said.

Potomac Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart said Bisenius is an "above average velocity guy. His arm strength is very appealing. Bisenius spins the ball very well (and has a) very sharp breaking ball that is a downer. Joe has a finish type curve ball."

Bisenius says he attacks every time he gets on the mound and that has helped him this season. His fastball and curveball are his two best pitches.

"I am throwing a lot of strikes," Bisenius said. "I am being aggressive and I don't beat around the bush. I am going right at guys. I just challenge guys out there."

Bisenius is considering playing winter ball but nothing has been finalized. He wants to concentrate on finishing this season out strong for the Nats.

Bisenius is glad to be healthy again after tearing a lat muscle in his back last year and missing most of the season. In 2007, he fought through a rotator cuff injury that bothered him most of the year. Now he is back to 100 percent.

"I feel good. A lot of times in the past I would be able to throw and then the next two or three days I would feel sore where I felt like I couldn't even throw the ball 60 feet," Bisenius said.

"Now I feel like I can throw those two or three days in a row."

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