Williams on Barrett option and Cabrera on his new team

The Nationals activated infielder Asdrubal Cabrera prior to Friday's game against the Phillies. The team optioned right-hander Aaron Barrett to Triple-A Syracuse. Manager Matt Williams said there were a couple of reasons they decided to send Barrett back to the minors. "(Ross Detwiler's) pitched really well. So we want to get him some higher leverage lefty-lefty situations," Williams said. barrett-follows-through-sidebar.jpg"Aaron has been in a lot of pressure situations so far and it's not easy for a first-year pitcher to be in those situations. (He's) pitched really well. But it gives us an opportunity to get him down and certainly work on things and give him more structured environment to pitch in. He's pitched a lot of those innings. "Blake (Treinen) gives us certainly long options, too. Today would have been his day to start." Williams pointed to the moment in the season when Barrett was called for a balk for the way he sets and what he does with his glove. It was a part of his mechanics for as long as Barrett remembered. Now he was thinking about it and had to adjust it. He wasn't as successful in getting guys out after that moment. "I don't think it helps, let me put it that way," Williams said. "We are all creatures of habit. And we are all creatures of timing in this game. If you have your comfort level up and your timing is right, things tend to work out. When something like that is put in the mix then it disrupts that." But Williams also said that the balk situation isn't the only reason Barrett was optioned. He would also like the young right-hander to work on his command. "Regardless of any of that if you don't get your slider where you want it to get to or your fastball where you want it to get to then you tend to give up base hits," Williams said. "But certainly it was something different for him. We encouraged him to go work on that as well. Telling him, letting him know, he will be back soon. It gives him an opportunity to go work on some things without having to do it in those high pressure situations here. "He has thrown a lot of innings. A lot of times being up, being the wipeout righty. There's many times where it's been if this pitcher doesn't get this guy out, we're bringing in Aaron in to face Stanton or Byrd or whoever that big right hander is. "We have to be mindful and careful with him in his first year that we put him in the appropriate spots." Williams said Treinen can be that long right-hander out of the 'pen, but can also come in for one inning too. Cabrera got his first chance to hang out in the clubhouse and meet his new teammates. He went out during early workouts and took grounders at second base. "He's ready to play," Williams said. "He took early work today at second. He'll get some more in batting practice and get ready for the game. But we're excited to have him." Cabrera talked about the whirlwind of the last 24 hours that is the life of a traded baseball player and how he first found out the news that he was headed to the National League. "I was in the training room and (Indians manager Terry) Francona, he called me," Cabrera said. "As soon as he called me I know something was going to happen. I am really happy to be here now." "I'll just go to my team. I'll try to come to this team and play hard. I will try to help the team win." Cabrera arrived and introduced himself to Williams. He let Williams know that one member of his family was a little apprehensive about the move. "He got here and walked right into the coaches room, we were all in there, and introduced himself," Williams said. "He's ready to go. He's excited about being here. His son (Meyer) is very upset. "He is seven years old and he doesn't feel like he'll be able to go in the clubhouse any more. We certainly invited his son when he gets here tomorrow to come in our clubhouse and outfit him with all the new garb. He'll be excited about that." Cabrera was happy to be coming to a team that is at the top of the NL East and fighting for a playoff spot. "That me get excited," Cabrera said. "When you come to a team like the Nationals, first place, you play with them, so that me feel good." Cabrera got a chance to speak with Denard Span during pregame stretching. His locker is right next to fellow Venezuelan Jose Lobaton. They played on the same team for one season in winter ball with Leones del Caracas. It helped ease the tension a bit as Cabrera admitted it was difficult to leave the organization that he played for to begin his major league career. "It's a little hard, you know," Cabrera said. "I played eight seasons with Cleveland. For the first five, ten minutes you don't feel good. But that's the business. That's baseball. Now I'm here. I'm pretty happy to be here and play with my team." Cabrera will start at second base tonight for the Nationals. It sounded like Williams wanted Cabrera to start at that spot for the rest of the regular season. He has 149 starts at second and he said he feels comfortable throwing to first base from that side of the diamond. "Good. I feel really good," Cabrera said. "That was a position I play when I come up with Cleveland. I played second for two years there. So I'm pretty comfortable there."
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