Nationals assign veteran Bill Bray to Harrisburg, release reliever Trevor Holder

A somewhat surprising move today for the Nationals, as Double-A Harrisburg announced right-hander Trevor Holder has been released. The team has assigned veteran left-hander Bill Bray from extended spring training to Harrisburg.

Holder was off to a good start again with the Senators. In seven games, Holder was 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA, allowing just six earned runs, with 13 strikeouts and four walks. On May 4, Holder tossed two innings of shutout baseball.

Nationals director of player development Doug Harris explained the move.

“It is never easy to make these decisions, particularly with a player who has conducted himself with such class, but the organization has decided to go in another direction,” Harris said.

On Twitter, an account listed as Trevor Holder (@trevholder) tweeted Monday afternoon: “The chapter of my life with the Washington nationals organization is over. I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me and have enjoyed every minute of playing for them. I’m grateful for the men I was able to go in between the lines with and the friendships Made off the field With. Every one of them. Going to miss you guys and hopefully our paths cross down the line.

“Opportunities Arise out of situations when you least expect it. Thank you everyone from host families to staff at all the levels I played at. These past Couple of years have been the best years of my life getting to play the game I love.”

Bray’s move to Harrisburg might have something to do with the clock of his contract, because the veteran has an opt-out clause that comes up in June, according to James Wagner in The Washington Post. The Nationals would like to get him going at Double-A and move him to Triple-A so he can be a viable candidate for left-handed help in the Nationals bullpen.

His best season was 2011, when Bray made 79 appearances for the Reds, going 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA.

Bray went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two spring training appearances for the Nationals. He pitched in 14 games with the Reds in 2012, and has made 258 major league appearances since 2007.

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