Burke Badenhop among latest relievers cut from camp

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals trimmed their list of bullpen candidates by three after today's game, reassigning right-handers Burke Badenhop, Erik Davis and Michael Brady to minor league camp.

None of the three moves was surprising, but Badenhop entered camp with a realistic shot to make the roster given his track record of success.

The 33-year-old right-hander, who signed as a minor league free agent during the first week of spring training, owns a 3.74 ERA in 418 career big league games with the Marlins, Rays, Brewers, Red Sox and Reds, making at least 50 appearances in each of the last six seasons.

Badenhop never found his groove with the Nationals, though, pitching only one clean inning in seven Grapefruit League appearances. Opponents scored seven runs on eight hits, six walks and two hit batters over six innings of work against him.

Manager Dusty Baker, who had high praise of Badenhop as an opposing pitcher over the years, admitted it's tougher to evaluate veterans' spring training performances when they have a regular season track record.

"It does make it harder to evaluate, but how much time do you have to wait?" Baker said. "That's what makes it tough. He said he how much he liked it here. He wasn't surprised by the move, because he didn't pitch the way he's capable of pitching."

The Nationals will give Badenhop a couple of days to decide whether to report to minor league camp or become a free agent, a decision his contract allows him to make.

Nats-Cap-Spring-Sidebar.jpgDavis gave up seven runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 spring training innings, four of them coming on a Michael Conforto grand slam in the bottom of the ninth Friday night against the Mets. The 29-year-old reliever, who appeared in 10 games for the Nationals in 2013 but then missed 2014 after having Tommy John surgery, most likely will pitch out of the bullpen at Triple-A Syracuse.

Brady, acquired from the Angels along with fellow reliever Trevor Gott in December's Yunel Escobar trade, didn't allow a run in 3 1/3 innings this spring. A former position player who only began pitching in 2010, Brady turned 29 today.\

These latest moves leave the Nationals with 41 players remaining in camp, 20 of them pitchers.

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