Nationals pitching prospects Demny, Clay, Treinen, Encarnacion and Pineyro updates from camp

Right-hander Paul Demny has come to the accelerated development camp looking good and ready to pick up where he left off following his play in the Arizona Fall League.

“He looks like he is in better shape,” said Harrisburg Senators pitching coach Paul Menhart. “He took a couple of weeks off after the Arizona Fall League and came in here in really good shape. His arm is healthy. I expect big things out of him this year.”

Here are updates on a pair of newcomers to the Nationals organization.

Right-hander Caleb Clay comes over from Portland in the Double-A Eastern League, after spending the start of his career in the Red Sox organization. Also, right-hander Blake Treinen is getting acclimated to his new team, after arriving via the triangle trade with Seattle and Oakland for Michael Morse.

“I have had Caleb Clay in the Fall League, he is definitely a guy we should watch out for, along with a guy named Blake Treinen,” Menhart said. “He has definitely opened up some eyes early on here, even though he hasn’t faced any opposing hitters from other teams. His stuff is pretty electric.”

Treinen pitched for the high Single-A Stockton Ports last season, going 7-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 24 games (15 starts). He had 92 strikeouts and 23 walks. Menhart likes the smooth delivery from the 24-year-old from South Dakota State.

“Nice, easy delivery and the ball jumps out of his hand,” Menhart said. “He has excellent feel for all three pitches, with both fastballs, fastball sinker, a hard breaking ball and another change-up that has similar action as Taylor Jordan’s, that split-finger action. He has a very smooth, easy delivery reaching velocity of low to mid-90s mph.”

It has been fun to watch the talented pitching displayed in the World Baseball Classic by the Dominican Republic. In the Classic, the Dominican brought three starters and eight relievers on the roster. The Nationals have made no secret of their interest in the baseball talent and quality available in the Dominican, and have worked very hard in setting up their baseball academy on the grounds of a university in the country.

A pair of 21-year-old Dominican right-handers, Ivan Pineyro and Pedro Encarnacion, are working hard in the Nationals camp.

“Pineyro has an excellent arm,” Menhart said. “I think he is a little more advanced than Encarnacion at this juncture of their careers. He has an excellent feel for his change-up. That is probably his best pitch from an off-speed standpoint. His fastball can get up there to upper-80s and low-90s mph, and he has an average curveball.”

But that doesn’t mean that the 6-foot-4, 175-lb., Encarnacion is lagging behind. He just needs to get into games and gain experience. Encarnacion appeared at Auburn and Hagerstown last season.

“Pedro has got the size and the body type and he looks the part,” Menhart said. “It is just a matter for him to get some more reps. He is only 21-years-old. We shall see. But he has got the whole package. He just needs the reps.”

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