The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated right-handed pitcher Matt Belisle on Tuesday, and placed right-handed pitcher Jonathan Papelbon on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 13) with a right intercostal strain. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Belisle, 36, rejoins the Nationals after missing 45 games with a right calf strain. A right-handed reliever, Belisle racked up 11.0 innings on rehab assignment, pitching to a 4.09 ERA in nine games across Single-A Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg, and Triple-A Syracuse. At the time of his injury, Belisle had worked to a 1.50 ERA in seven games out of the Nationals’ bullpen. He’d allowed one run on six hits in 6.0 innings, walked one batter and struck out three.
A veteran of more than 12 Major League seasons, Belisle made the Nationals out of Spring Training as a 2016 Non-Roster Invitee. He posted a 3.24 ERA in eight Spring Training games.
Papelbon, 35, heads to the disabled list for the first time in his accomplished career. Ranked 10th on the all-time saves list, Papelbon’s 365 career saves are just two behind Jeff Reardon for ninth in Major League history. The right-hander, who holds the all-time saves record for two different organizations (Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies), is seventh in the National League with 16 saves this season.
Papelbon is 23-for-27 in save opportunities since being acquired by the Nationals from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 29, 2015, in exchange for Minor League right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta.