Rosenthal gets another shot in bullpen (Nats lead 4-0)

Rosenthal gets another shot in bullpen (Nats lead 4-0)
SAN DIEGO - The Nationals could've waited until Monday to make a final decision on Trevor Rosenthal, whether to activate the reliever off the injured list at the end of a 30-day rehab assignment or whether to cut ties with him and eat the $8 million they guaranteed him over the winter. They decided to go ahead and make the move now, though, activating Rosenthal before tonight's game against the Padres, hoping he can ride a couple of positive outings for Double-A Harrisburg earlier this week...
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Nationals sign veteran lefty Venters to minor league deal

Nationals sign veteran lefty Venters to minor league deal
ATLANTA - In their ongoing search for more bullpen help, the Nationals are taking a flier on veteran Jonny Venters, hoping the former Braves lefty can rediscover the form that made him effective last season but eluded him this year. The Nats signed Venters to a minor league contract and assigned him to Double-A Harrisburg, where he'll attempt to get himself on track and perhaps merit a promotion at some point. "He's a prominent left-handed pitcher who pitched well in some high-leverage...
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Nationals sign veteran reliever Kontos to minor league deal

Nationals sign veteran reliever Kontos to minor league deal
In their neverending quest to improve the majors' worst bullpen, the Nationals have acquired another veteran with considerable experience. The Nationals signed right-hander George Kontos on Saturday to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Fresno's roster, where he'll attempt to earn his way into Washington's bullpen. Kontos, 33, owns a career 3.10 ERA and 1.154 WHIP in 350 big league games, the vast majority of those with the Giants. He bounced around three organizations...
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Guerra ready for whatever relief role is needed (game tied 5-5)

Guerra ready for whatever relief role is needed (game tied 5-5)
NEW YORK - Javy Guerra was hanging out in Toronto with his 2-year-old son Monday afternoon when he got a call from a Blue Jays official, informing the veteran reliever he had just been claimed off waivers by the Nationals. "Just hanging out," he said. "And before you know it, you find out that you have to get down here and be ready to play tomorrow." Guerra, now pitching for his sixth franchise in nine years, has learned how to deal with the uncertainty of this profession. "You just kind...
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Guerra could join bullpen Tuesday (Nats trail 4-2)

Guerra could join bullpen Tuesday (Nats trail 4-2)
NEW YORK - Javy Guerra won't join the Nationals bullpen until Tuesday at the earliest. But once he does, the club hopes the versatile veteran will help stabilize the majors' worst relief corps. Guerra, claimed off outright waivers from the Blue Jays earlier today, wasn't able to make it to New York in time for the Nationals' series opener against the Mets. Manager Davey Martinez, who spoke to the right-hander over the phone, hopes to have him available for Tuesday's game. "If he gets here...
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Sipp activated, Jennings designated, Guerra acquired

Sipp activated, Jennings designated, Guerra acquired
NEW YORK - As they prepare to open a four-game series against a reeling Mets club, the Nationals are remaking their bullpen on the fly again. The Nats have activated left-hander Tony Sipp off the injured list while also claiming veteran right-hander Javy Guerra off outright waivers from the Blue Jays. Dan Jennings, an in-season acquisition who never found his footing, was designated for assignment to clear one roster spot. They'll need to clear another spot on the 25-man roster for Guerra once...
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Williams is next man up in ever-changing bullpen

Williams is next man up in ever-changing bullpen
Austen Williams figured something was up when he was summoned out of Fresno's bullpen in the third inning of Friday night's game at Las Vegas. He knew he wasn't being called in to pitch that early in a game. Sure enough, Williams' hunch was correct. He was being called up to Washington, and now he had to race the clock (and the sun) to get to D.C. in time for today's 4:05 p.m. game against the Pirates. Williams' itinerary: A red-eye flight from Las Vegas to Chicago, then a connecting...
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Nats working to finalize minor league deal with Norris (updated)

Nats working to finalize minor league deal with Norris (updated)
PHILADELPHIA - The Nationals are working to finalize what will be a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Bud Norris, though the deal is not yet done, according to general manager Mike Rizzo. It's their latest attempt to patch together a viable bullpen after a disastrous start to the season. Norris will report to the Nationals' spring training headquarters in West Palm Beach and be evaluated by club officials before they determine a course of action, Rizzo said. If he checks out...
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Two years later, Nats face same bullpen mess, but in tougher division

Two years later, Nats face same bullpen mess, but in tougher division
NEW YORK - Max Scherzer had dominated, Anthony Rendon had homered and the Nationals had busted their way out to a double-digit lead on the road heading into the final innings. And then the majors' worst bullpen somehow turned that blowout win into a tension-filled bottom of the ninth that ended in an unlikely save situation. Sound familiar? It should, because it just happened Sunday at Citi Field. It also happened July 15, 2017, at Great American Ball Park. Yeah, the 2019 Nationals bullpen...
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Ross joins bullpen after red eye from Fresno (Nats up 12-6)

Ross joins bullpen after red eye from Fresno (Nats up 12-6)
NEW YORK - Desperate for bullpen help only a week and a half into the season, the Nationals have promoted one of their standby starters from the minors to take over a relief role. Joe Ross, who was supposed to open the season in the rotation at Triple-A Fresno, was recalled today, with infielder Adrián Sanchez optioned to Double-A Harrisburg to clear a roster spot. Ross, who had been scheduled to make his first start of the season Monday, instead took a red-eye flight from Fresno to New York...
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Just-signed Sipp ready to face multiple challenges (Nats win 11-3)

Just-signed Sipp ready to face multiple challenges (Nats win 11-3)
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Tony Sipp arrived at Nationals camp Thursday and immediately threw his first bullpen session with the club that signed him to a $1 million contract the previous day. He hasn't faced any live hitters yet, obviously hasn't appeared in any spring training games and certainly hasn't appeared in back-to-back games, all hurdles he'll need to cross before joining the Nats' active roster. So the pertinent question this morning when Sipp met with reporters in West Palm Beach...
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Source: Nats adding veteran lefty Sipp to bullpen

Source: Nats adding veteran lefty Sipp to bullpen
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are bringing in an experienced left-handed reliever after all. The Nats have agreed to terms with veteran Tony Sipp on a one-year contract with an option for 2020, a source familiar with the deal confirmed. Sipp, 35, will need to pass a physical before the contract is official, but he's expected to report to spring training within the next few days. Sipp fills an obvious need for the Nationals, though one club officials had been downplaying in significance...
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Beyond Doolittle, Nats bullpen is full of question marks

Beyond Doolittle, Nats bullpen is full of question marks
As spring training fast approaches, it's time to break down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the bullpen ... A position of instability and turbulence for years, the Nationals bullpen entered the 2018 season as a legitimately perceived strength. The three-headed "Law Firm" of late-inning relievers general manager Mike Rizzo acquired during the summer of 2017 all returned, and the rest of the group featured a balanced combination of...
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Two more lefty relievers come off the board

Two more lefty relievers come off the board
If the Nationals intend to acquire another left-hander for their bullpen before spring training, they'd better hurry. The ranks of available arms are beginning to thin out. Two more southpaws came off the board Friday when Justin Wilson signed with the Mets and Oliver Pérez re-signed with the Indians. Wilson, owner of a 3.33 ERA and 1.268 WHIP in seven seasons with the Pirates, Yankees, Tigers and Cubs, reportedly agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Mets. The Nationals had shown...
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Nats add lefty reliever Nuño on minor league deal

Nats add lefty reliever Nuño on minor league deal
Seeking for some more experienced left-handed options in their bullpen, the Nationals have signed veteran Vidal Nuño to a minor-league contract with an invitation to compete for a job in big-league camp this spring. The deal, confirmed by a club source, will pay Nuño $1.3 million if he makes the major league roster, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman. It includes an opt-out clause if Nuño doesn't make the team. Nuño, 31, posted a 1.64 ERA and 1.030 WHIP in 17 appearances for the...
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Nationals bullpen has potential but few sure things

Nationals bullpen has potential but few sure things
There is no more volatile position in baseball than relief pitcher, no more volatile position group than the bullpen. Only a handful of the very best relievers can consistently be counted upon year after year, so that always makes this aspect of the roster tougher to predict than others. Which also makes the Nationals bullpen both intriguing and nerve-wracking here as the 2019 season looms in the not-so-distant future. This is nothing new, of course. Rarely have the Nats entered a season with...
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Finally healthy after two months, Doolittle off DL (another delay)

Finally healthy after two months, Doolittle off DL (another delay)
What would Sean Doolittle have thought, the Nationals closer was asked today, if told when he first noticed what felt like a minor left toe injury on July 7 that he wouldn't return for two months? "I would've said you were crazy," the left-hander said. "I was feeling really good, and I was pitching better than I ever have in my career. If you had told me when I came out of that game that night that I was going to have to wait two months to get to do that again, I would've said you were...
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Cole designated for assignment, Torres added to bullpen

Cole designated for assignment, Torres added to bullpen
LOS ANGELES - Needing a fresh arm in their bullpen after a taxing series at Citi Field, the Nationals promoted veteran right-hander Carlos Torres from Triple-A Syracuse and made the decision to cut ties with A.J. Cole. Cole, who was out of options, was designated for assignment and now is available to any other club to claim off waivers over the next week. If he clears waivers, the Nationals could then either outright Cole to the minors or release him. General manager Mike Rizzo had been...
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Martinez on roster, Murphy and Zimmerman (Nats lose 3-1)

Martinez on roster, Murphy and Zimmerman (Nats lose 3-1)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - As the clock ticks down on spring training and opening day looms in the near future, the Nationals have a pretty good idea what their 25-man roster will look like. "We're close," manager Davey Martinez said today. "I won't say we're quite there yet, but we're close. We've still got a few games left. I just want to leave spring training, get to Washington, play Minnesota (in Tuesday's exhibition game) and get through those days healthy and ready to go for...
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Breaking down the remaining bullpen candidates

Breaking down the remaining bullpen candidates
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Perhaps the most difficult roster question the Nationals face in the final days of spring training is how to fill in the final vacancies in their bullpen. It doesn't help that more vacancies have opened up during the course of the spring. Koda Glover's recurring shoulder woes and now Joaquin Benoit's forearm strain have created some openings that might not previously have existed. Not that there's an easy answer to this quandary. Let's begin with the bullpen slots...
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