Results tagged ‘ Felipe Rivero ’
Washington Nationals (61-43) at San Francisco Giants (60-44)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [6-8, 4.44] | RHP Matt Cain [2-6, 5.95]
Sunday, July 31 l Game #105 / Road #54 l AT&T Park l San Francisco, Calif. l 1:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network
Prior to Saturday’s 5-3 loss at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals acquired All-Star RHP Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates, in exchange for LHP Felipe Rivero and Minor League LHP Taylor Hearn.
- Melancon ranks fourth in the National League with 30 saves…He is 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 45 games this season.
- Since the start of the 2014 season, Melancon has converted 92.7 percent of his save opportunities, the third-highest mark in MLB behind only BAL LHP Zach Britton (92.9%) and CHI LHP Aroldis Chapman (92.8%)…His 114 saves in that span are the most in MLB.
- Melancon comes to the Nationals on the heels of nearly four seasons as the Pirates closer, in which he’s amassed the fourth-most saves in Pirates history (130)…A three-time All-Star, the right-hander has saved at least 30 games in each of the last three seasons – including an MLB-best 51 in 2015.
WHERE THINGS STAND
The Nationals and Giants square off Sunday afternoon in the fourth game of this four-game set between division leaders…Not only do these clubs lead their respective divisions, Washington (61-43, .587) and San Francisco (60-44, .577) boast two of the top three records in the National League…They trail the Chicago Cubs (62-41, .602).
- Washington ranks second in Major League Baseball with a +114 run differential, behind only the Chicago Cubs (+163).
ALL ABOUT GETTING ON BASE
With a single in the eighth inning on Saturday, Nationals LF Jayson Werth extended his on-base streak to a career-high 33 games…It is tied for the longest active streak in the Major Leagues and is tied for the third-longest on-base streak in MLB this season (BOS 2B Dustin Pedroia, 6/21-pres)…MIA OF Marcell Ozuna owns the longest streak in MLB this season (36 games, 4/21-5/29).
- During this stretch, Werth has collected 28 hits (11 2B, 2 HR), 26 walks and has posted a .383 on-base percentage along the way.
SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW – RELIEF PITCHERS
This spring, 63 players — each member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, plus 23 additional non-roster invitees — will vie for the 25 spots on Dusty Baker’s Opening Day ballclub. Over the course of this week, we are introducing these players in their position groups, continuing today with relief pitchers.
March 5 – Starting Pitchers
March 6 – Relief Pitchers
March 7 – Catchers
March 8 – Infielders
March 9 – Outfielders
2015 Season Totals: 4.60 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 10.74 K/9, 2.15 BB/9, .351 BABIP, 0.9 fWAR
Although Barrett will begin the 2016 season on the disabled list following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the 28-year-old has a bright future in the nation’s capital. Barrett has posted remarkable numbers during his first two big league seasons, including a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2015 that led all Nationals relievers. Armed with a hard fastball and wipeout slider, Barrett has a chance to provide the team with a boost either down the stretch in 2016 or by Opening Day, 2017.
ABEL De LOS SANTOS
2015 Season Totals: 5.40 ERA, 9.13 FIP, 16.20 K/9, 5.40 BB/9, .333 BABIP, -0.1 fWAR
A live-armed right-hander, de Los Santos has posted 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 3.61 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 144 Minor league games (36 starts) over his professional career. He went 4-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 39 games for Double-A Harrisburg, and was 8-for-11 in save opportunities for the Senators. He struck out 55 batters in 57.2 Minor league innings (8.6 K/9.0 IP). De Los Santos had his contract selected on July 20 and made his MLB debut the next night vs. New York Mets.
2015 Season Totals: 3.02 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 5.10 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, .266 BABIP, 0.1 fWAR
Gott, 23, comes to Washington after being acquired in a December deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The young right-hander, just three years removed from his junior season at the University of Kentucky, profiles as a late-inning reliever with a fastball that averaged more than 96 mph during his rookie season with the Angels a year ago. Prior to reaching the Major Leagues, Gott posted an impressive 2.25 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 28 innings between Double-A and Triple-A ball in 2015.
2015 Season Totals: 4.24 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 7.41 K/9, 4.24 BB/9, .426 BABIP, 0.3 fWAR
Left-handed and featuring a fastball and slider repertoire that induced groundballs at a rate of 59 percent in his 26 big league games in 2015, Grace would have ranked in the top 15 in baseball in ground ball rate if qualified. He began the season with Triple-A Syracuse before being recalled to the big leagues on April 22 and made his MLB debut that night against the St. Louis Cardinals. On the season, he allowed just one extra base hit in 38 at-bats against left-handed batters, striking out nine and walking just two.
2015 Season Totals: 2.45 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 11.05 K/9, 2.63 BB/9, .301 BABIP, 1.0 fWAR
Kelley brings a wealth of experience to the revamped Nationals’ bullpen from his seven seasons with the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres. The 31-year-old right-hander has developed into a reliable reliever, striking out 246 opposing hitters in 200.2 innings over the past four years and featuring a slider he has thrown more than 50 percent of the time during that span. The Louisville, Ky. native signed a three-year deal with Washington in December.
2015 Season Totals: N/A
Lee was added to Washington’s 40-man roster following the 2015 season. He began his professional career as a starter, but transitioned to the bullpen during the 2014 season. Lee is effective with the strikeout, posting 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings over his five-year professional career. He went 3-1 with 10 saves and a 3.12 ERA in a career-high 40 outings between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2015, while his 10 saves ranked tied for second among Nationals farmhands.
2015 Season Totals: 5.11 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 18.24 K/9, 3.65 BB/9, .381 BABIP, -0.1 fWAR
An eight-year Minor League veteran, Martin earned an invite to 2015 Spring Training and quickly made his mark in the big leagues, striking out five consecutive Boston Red Sox batters in two scoreless innings in his MLB debut on April 15. Martin utilizes an upper-echelon slider to produce impressive strikeout numbers, helping him lead Washington’s minor league system with 12 saves, going 5-5 with a 3.21 ERA (20 ER/56.0 IP) in 46 games for Triple-A Syracuse.
2015 Season Totals: 2.13 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 7.96 K/9, 1.71 BB/9, .258 BABIP, 0.4 fWAR
One of the game’s most decorated closers, Papelbon has a chance to climb up the all-time saves list in 2016. With 349 in his career, the 35-year-old veteran is just nine behind Troy Percival (10th; 358), 18 behind Jeff Reardon (9th; 367) and 28 behind Joe Nathan (8th; 377). Papelbon successfully closed out 24 games in 2015, posting 17 saves and a 1.59 ERA with the Phillies and seven saves and a 3.04 ERA with the Nationals, after being acquired just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline in late July.
2015 Season Totals: 4.17 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 11.20 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, .321 BABIP, 0.5 fWAR
Perez’s resurgence has been one of baseball’s best stories over the past few years, as the one-time starter has rediscovered his magic as a short-inning reliever. The left-hander’s career took a positive turn under the tutelage of Nationals’ instructors in 2011, and he now joins the organization at the Major League level for the first time. In 232 appearances since 2012, Perez has posted a 3.31 ERA and 225 strikeouts in 182.1 innings, while proving to be one of the game’s toughest draws for left-handed hitters.
2015 Season Totals: 3.67 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 6.99 K/9, 1.78 BB/9, .278 BABIP, -0.1 fWAR
Petit, a versatile swingman with the ability to go multiple innings as a starter or reliever, signed with the Nationals this offseason after four successful campaigns with the San Francisco Giants. He set a Major League record in 2014, retiring 46 consecutive hitters at one point over an eight-game stretch. Fans may also remember his winning performance in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS at Nationals Park, in which he held the Nats to one hit over six shutout innings from the 12th through the 17th frames.
2015 Season Totals: 2.79 ERA, 2.64 FIP, 8.01 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, .250 BABIP, 0.9 fWAR
A breakout rookie in the Nationals’ 2015 bullpen, Rivero returns with a chance to earn a more prominent role during the 2016 season. The left-hander pitched in relief over a full season for the first time a year ago, and seemed to get stronger as the season wore on. Rivero finished the year with seven consecutive scoreless appearances — holding opponents to just one hit and one walk while striking out seven batters — while earning his first two Major League saves in the process.
2015 Season Totals: 3.38 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 7.17 K/9, 1.69 BB/9, .329 BABIP, 0.1 fWAR
Solis entered 2015 in good health after struggling with injuries his first few years as a professional. He began the season with Double-A Harrisburg before being recalled to the Major Leagues on April 29. Solis made his big league debut the next night, April 30 at the New York Mets. He enjoyed four stints with Washington over the course of the year, going 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA (8 ER/21.1 IP) in 18 games. In 20 games between Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, Solis went 0-3 with four saves and a 4.39 ERA (13 ER/26.2 IP).
2015 Season Totals: 3.86 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 8.65 K/9, 4.26 BB/9, .328 BABIP, 0.4 fWAR
Treinen made his first Opening Day roster in 2015 and spent the majority of the season in the Nationals’ bullpen, showing electric stuff and a dominant streak against opposing right-handed hitters. Righties hit a paltry .187/.276/.216 against the 6-foot-5 Kansan, striking out in 28.8 percent of all plate appearances. Treinen compiled a nearly flawless month of August, holding opponents scoreless over 11 appearances while allowing just six hits and two walks over 12.1 innings, striking out 12.
BURKE BADENHOP…6-foot-5 right-hander is a noted ground ball specialist, with a 54.4 percent career rate.
MATT BELISLE…Veteran righty made 34 relief appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015.
MICHAEL BRADY…Second piece of the deal that brought fellow reliever Trevor Gott to Washington.
SEAN BURNETT…Former Nationals left-hander returns to the organization after three-year absence.
ERIK DAVIS…Stanford product fanned 12 batters and walked just one in 10 appearances in 2013 debut.
NICK MASSET…Pitched four seasons in Dusty Baker’s bullpen in Cincinnati from 2008-11.
WANDER SUERO…Slender Dominican right-hander posted a 2.41 ERA for Single-A Potomac in 2015.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals recalled left-handed pitcher Matt Grace from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday and placed left-handed pitcher Felipe Rivero on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 18, with a GI bleed.
Grace joins the Nationals for the first Major League assignment of his career. The 26-year-old, who utilizes a heavy fastball/slider combination to help him induce ground balls at a high rate, is 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA since converting to a reliever in 2013.
During his breakout 2014 season, Grace went 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 50 appearances across Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. He held opposing batters to a .211 average, tallied 62 strikeouts in 77 innings of work, and surrendered just one home run — while inducing ground balls at a rate of 69 percent, 24 percent higher than the Major League average (45 percent).
At the conclusion of the 2014 regular season, Grace appeared in 10 games for Mesa in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, posting a 3.18 ERA (4 ER/11.1 IP).
The California native was an eighth-round selection of the Nationals in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of UCLA. In five seasons in the Nationals’ Minor League system Grace has worked to a 36-25 record and a 4.20 ERA.
Rivero, 23, made his Major League debut on Friday night, pitching one inning and allowing one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts in the Nationals’ 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals recalled left-handed pitcher Felipe Rivero from Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday, and optioned RHP Taylor Jordan there.
Rivero, 23, joins the Nationals for his first Major League assignment and provides the team with a second left-handed reliever in the bullpen. In five Spring Training games (5.2 IP) with the Nationals this year, Rivero was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He allowed just four hits and struck out six.
The hard-throwing left-hander, who made three appearances for Triple-A Syracuse before his call-up, entered the 2015 season rated by Baseball America as the No. 18 prospect (No. 2 left-handed pitching prospect) in the Nationals’ organization.
The Yaracuy, Venezuela native struck out 50 batters while walking just 19 in 53.2 IP in 2014 across three levels of the Nationals’ chain. Rivero went 2-7 with a 3.35 ERA last year, but worked exclusively as a starter. He has since transitioned to relief work. Over the course of his Minor League career, Rivero has posted 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings and done well to keep the ball in the ballpark, surrendering just 24 home runs in 442.1 IP (0.5 HR/9).
Rivero was acquired, along with catcher Jose Lobaton and minor league outfielder Drew Vettleson, on Feb. 13, 2014 as part of a four-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, in exchange for right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns.
Jordan, 26, joined the Nationals on Wednesday but did not pitch. In one start for Triple-A this season (April 10 at Scranton-Wilkes Barre), he tossed six scoreless innings. In 14 career Major League games, Jordan is 1-6 with a 4.31 ERA.
by Kyle Mann
Coming off a Major League Baseball-best 3.03 starters ERA, the Washington Nationals added 2013 American League Cy Young Award Winner Max Scherzer to a starting staff that is now projected to feature five members with Top-10 Cy Young Award finishes since 2012.
*Note, 2014 totals reflect only Major League stats.
2014 Season Totals: 18-5, 3.15 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 10.29 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, 5.6 fWAR in 220.1 IP
2015 Steamer Projection: 14-8, 2.91 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 10.46 K/9, 2.43 BB/9, 3.9 fWAR in 192.0 IP
Even in a rotation full of aces, Scherzer stands out due to his impressive resume that includes the 2013 American League Cy Young Award and a fifth-place Cy Young finish in 2014. Scherzer, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander, also has two straight All-Star appearances, earning the starting nod in 2013 and winning the game out of the bullpen last season.
Now back in the National League, where he started his career as a first round pick of then-Diamondbacks Vice President of Scouting Operations (and current Nationals President of Baseball Operations and GM) Mike Rizzo, Scherzer is poised to continue his success in 2015 and beyond. Scherzer, baseball’s active leader (and fourth all-time) in strikeouts per nine innings pitched, also led the AL in wins each of the last two seasons (tied in 2014) and was a top three finisher in in strikeouts each of the past three years.
2014 Season Totals: 14-5, 2.66 ERA, 2.68 FIP, 8.20 K/9, 1.31 BB/9, 5.2 fWAR in 199.2 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 13-9, 3.39 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 7.65 K/9, 1.72 BB/9, 2.9 fWAR in 182.0 IP
A model of consistency, Jordan Zimmermann has established himself as one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues the past four seasons. After tying for the NL lead in wins and finishing seventh in the Cy Young Award voting in 2013, Zimmermann followed up his first All-Star season with an even better 2014.
Zimmermann’s no-hitter to end the regular season was certainly the highlight, but Zimmermann was dominant all year. Zimmermann twice won NL Player of the Week honors and allowed the fewest walks per nine innings in the league, en route to a fifth-place finish in NL Cy Young voting. Known for being a bulldog on the mound, Zimmermann finished second in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio and fourth in WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) and finished behind only National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw in fielding independent pitching (FIP) —a key indicator of future performance.
2014 Season Totals: 14-11, 3.14 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, 4.3 fWAR in 215.0 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 13-8, 3.03 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 9.78 K/9, 2.27 BB/9, 3.8 fWAR in 182.0 IP
Since being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of San Diego State University, Stephen Strasburg has established himself as one of the game’s most talented pitchers. Last season, Strasburg led the National League in strikeouts and games started behind a dominating fastball that averaged 94.8 mph and a change-up that averaged 88.2 miles per hour.
Strasburg struck out 10.13 batters per nine innings, good for second in the NL, on his way to a ninth-place finish in the Cy Young Award balloting. Thanks to a reduction in walk rate, Strasburg improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 3.41 in 2013 to 5.63 last season, good for second in the National League. Strasburg has been the Nationals’ Opening Day starter each of the past three seasons and served as the Game 1 starter in the 2014 playoffs — and at just 26, is still improving — but it remains to be seen where he’ll slot in this rotation at the start of the 2015 campaign.
2014 Season Totals: 16-6, 2.41 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 5.38 K/9, 1.32 BB/9, 1.3 fWAR in 164.0 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 12-10, 3.78 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 6.20 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, 2.1 fWAR in 182.0 IP
In his inaugural season in Washington, Doug Fister had the best ERA among all Nationals starters, and his 2.41 ERA was good for fourth best in the National League. Considering he may head into 2015 as a possible fourth starter in the rotation, D.C. has plenty of reasons to be excited about the team’s chances during the 2015 season. With a quick tempo and a four-pitch mix that perplexed hitters all season long, Fister improved his ERA every month of the season on his way to an eighth-place finish in the NL Cy Young Award voting. Finishing behind only teammate Jordan Zimmermann in the NL in walks per nine innings, Fister’s control is the key to his success. After flourishing in his first season in the nation’s capital, Fister is poised for another great season for the Nationals in 2015.
2014 Season Totals: 10-10, 3.57 ERA, 3.03 FIP, 9.19 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, 3.1 fWAR in 158.2 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 11-9, 3.70 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 8.68 K/9, 3.32 BB/9, 2.0 fWAR in 163.0 IP
The lone southpaw in the Nationals’ batch of starters, Gio Gonzalez enters 2015 coming off a strong September where he posted a 2.48 ERA and had 31 strikeouts and only five walks. Overall, his effectiveness in 2014 was masked by an ERA more than a half run higher than his FIP, which could indicate a return to some of the numbers the Hialeah, Fla. native posted during his 21-win 2012 campaign. The two-time All-Star is sixth among active pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings and sixth among active MLB lefties in career ERA, with an uptick in numbers since joining the Nationals three seasons ago. Gonzalez could be in line for a strong 2015, particularly if he continues to develop his change-up, a pitch he threw with more regularity in the second half of the season.
2014 Season Totals: 15-10, 2.85 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 6.25 K/9, 1.77 BB/9, 3.0 fWAR in 198.2 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 2-2, 4.10 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 6.44 K/9, 2.26 BB/9, 0.3 fWAR in 38.0 IP
Part of the package the Nationals received for Cristian Guzman in a 2010 trade, Tanner Roark finished the 2014 season with 15 wins and a 2.85 ERA, proving his strong rookie season was no fluke. While Roark’s 2015 role isn’t yet clear, he’s shown he can be very successful as a starter, or coming out of the bullpen, including 22.2 innings in 2013 in which he posted a 1.19 ERA. After finishing last season in the Top 10 in the National League in wins, WHIP, walks per inning pitched and pitching WAR, Roark provides great rotation depth for the Nationals and should easily beat his Steamer projections if he gets regular work. As the old saying goes, you can never have too much pitching, and Roark has shown he will provide value no matter how he is used in 2015.
2014 Season Totals: 2-3, 2.49 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 5.33 K/9, 2.31 BB/9, 0.6 fWAR in 50.2 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 2-2, 3.55 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 6.83 K/9, 2.17 BB/9, 0.2 fWAR in 45.0 IP
A key part of the three-team trade that sent Michael Morse to Seattle before the 2013 season — a deal that also netted the Nationals A.J. Cole and Ian Krol (later an integral part of the trade for Doug Fister) — Blake Treinen’s blazing fastball generated a lot of buzz in D.C. during his first taste of the Major Leagues. After posting an outstanding 2.49 ERA in 15 appearances (seven starts) with the Nationals in 2014, Treinen is an option to provide rotation depth, or be utilized out of the Nationals bullpen. A former college walk-on, Treinen threw his hard, sinking fastball nearly 80 percent of the time last season with an average speed of 94.8 miles per hour. Regardless of role, Treinen should be a solid contributor for the Nationals in 2015.
2014 Season Totals: 0-3, 5.61 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 5.96 K/9, 2.81 BB/9, 0.1 fWAR in 25.2 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 1-1, 3.79 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 6.45 K/9, 2.14 BB/9, 0.1 fWAR in 20.0 IP
After a successful rookie season in 2013, Taylor Jordan began the year in the Nationals rotation before returning to Triple-A Syracuse in early May. The young right-hander underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow in September, and began the process of working toward this spring. A groundball pitcher, the Merritt Island, Fla. native has induced a 56 percent groundball rate during his time in the Majors, peaking at 57.5 percent during his 2013 campaign, in which he posted a 3.66 ERA. Provided he’s healthy to start the season, Jordan should be ready to contribute in the role and the level the Nationals feel will be his best fit.
2014 Season Totals: 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 5.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 0.1 fWAR in 9.0 IP
2015 Steamer Proj.: 1-1, 3.88 ERA, 3.96 FIP, 5.69 K/9, 1.65 BB/9, 0.0 fWAR in 30.0 IP
A sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft out of Vanderbilt University, Taylor Hill made his Major League debut for the Nationals in June and earned his first big league start in September of last season. While Hill ran into some tough luck during his brief MLB stint, he produced an outstanding 2.81 ERA for Triple-A Syracuse in 144 innings. Hill provides great starting rotation depth for the Nationals.
2014 Season Totals: N/A
2015 Steamer Proj.: 0-0, 4.14 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 6.99 K/9, 2.73 BB/9, 0.0 fWAR in 1.0 IP
Ranked as the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect by MLB.com, A.J. Cole features a fastball that sits in the mid-90s as well as a solid changeup and curveball. After being selected as a fourth-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Cole was included in the haul to acquire All-Star Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics in December 2011. But the Nationals have always been high on Cole, who was reacquired by the Nationals in January 2013 as the centerpiece of the Michael Morse trade. After a successful 2014 season between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, in which he combined for a 3.16 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 134 innings, Cole enters Spring Training with a chance to contribute to the Nationals at some point during the 2015 season.
2014 Season Totals: N/A
2015 Steamer Proj.: 0-0, 4.48 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 6.86 K/9, 3.96 BB/9, 0.0 fWAR in 1.0 IP
Acquired with Jose Lobaton and Drew Vettleson last spring for Nathan Karns, Felipe Rivero is a hard throwing southpaw who can hit 97 mph with his fastball. He complements that offering with a curveball and a change-up, both which show promise. The native of Venezuela struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings across three levels in 2014, ending his season with a stint in the Arizona Fall League. If Rivero improves his command, the 23-year-old projects as left-handed starter in the majors, but also has potential as a left-handed stopper in the bullpen.
2014 Season Totals: N/A
2015 Steamer Proj.: 0-0, 4.06 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 7.16 K/9, 3.07 BB/9, 0.0 fWAR in 1.0 IP
A 6-foot-5 left-hander, Sammy Solis has pitched well when healthy. Solis has an impressive 3.33 ERA over the course of his Minor League career with 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings, and features a fastball that can touch 95 miles per hour to go with a solid change-up. A former second-round draft pick out of the University of San Diego, Solis has the chance to move through the Nationals’ system quickly.
by Amanda Comak
VIERA, Fla. – The Washington Nationals shored up their catching corps and added more talent to the upper levels of their Minor League system on Thursday, acquiring catcher Jose Lobaton, left-hander Felipe Rivero and outfielder Drew Vettleson from the Tampa Bay Rays.
In exchange, the Nationals sent right-handed starter Nathan Karns to the Rays. To clear space for Rivero on the team’s 40-man roster, right-hander Erik Davis was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain.
Lobaton, 29, hit .249 with a .320 on-base percentage and .394 slugging percentage in 311 plate appearances with the Rays in 2013. Splitting time with veteran Jose Molina, Lobaton — who is considered an above-average defensive receiver — helped guide the vaunted Tampa Bay pitching staff to the fifth-lowest team ERA in the American League.
The Venezuela native joins countrymen Wilson Ramos and Sandy Leon, along with Jhonatan Solano, as catchers on the Nationals’ 40-man roster and gives Manager Matt Williams a strong layer of depth behind Ramos.
He became an October hero in 2013, crushing a walk-off home run for the Rays off Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
Rivero, 22, went 9-7 with a 3.40 ERA in 25 games/23 starts for Charlotte of the Florida State League in 2013. Rated by FanGraphs.com as the No. 10 prospect in Tampa Bay’s organization, Rivero’s fastball has been clocked as high as 96 mph. His nine wins paced Single-A Charlotte, as did his 127.0 innings pitched.
He participated in the 2012 XM All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City and earned Midwest League mid-season All-Star honors while with Single-A Bowling Green. Rivero was signed by the Rays on July 30, 2008 and is a native of San Felipe, Venezuela.
Vettleson, originally selected by the Rays in the first round (42nd overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Central Kitsap (WA) High School, was ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the Rays’ organization entering the 2014 season by Keith Law from ESPN.com.
The 22-year old spent the 2013 season with Single-A Charlotte, hitting .274 with 29 doubles, six triples, four home runs, 62 RBI and 50 runs scored. During the 2012 campaign in which he played 132 games for Single-A Bowling Green, Vettleson set a Bowling Green franchise record with 139 hits and his 15 home runs and 69 RBI were both in the top five among Rays minor leaguers. In two of his first three professional seasons, Vettleson also stole at least 20 bases.
Following the 2012 season, he was named an MiLB.com Organization All-Star, a Midwest League All-Star and Bowling Green’s Most Valuable Player.
Vettleson, a native of Bremerton, Washington, was cited by Baseball America as being the Best Pure Hitter among high school talents entering the 2010 Draft.
Karns, 26, was the Nationals 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and made three starts for the Nationals in 2013.
In 54 Minor League starts, from the Gulf Coast League up through Double-A Harrisburg, Karns has a career Minor League ERA of 2.66. The hard-throwing right-hander was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University.
Davis, 27, went 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 games with the Nationals last season, his first in which he appeared in the Major Leagues.