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UPDATE: Barrett optioned to Syracuse, Treinen called up

Aug 6, 2015, 3:12 PM EDT

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Updated at 3:12 p.m.

On the heels of a trainwreck ballgame Wednesday night that saw their bullpen give up nine earned runs for the first time in six years, the Nationals optioned right-hander Aaron Barrett to Class AAA Syracuse before Thursday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks and recalled Blake Treinen to take his spot on the roster.

Barrett was front-and-center during Wednesday’s meltdown, giving up three runs during the top of the fifth, including the tying and go-ahead runs on a wild throw to first base. He had, however, been on a prolonged run of success, not surrendering any runs over his previous nine appearances.

Overall, Barrett owns a 4.60 ERA in 40 games, despite a strong 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season and only 28 hits allowed in 29 1/3 innings. The Nationals, though, want to see more consistency from the second-year reliever.

“I look back to [last weekend’s] New York series. He pitched really well,” manager Matt Williams said. “But then last night is an example of him not quite making a pitch, and having a bloop, and making the error and things go haywire. The situations we put him in are important situations, and he’s been there many times. … Recently, there’s been some times where he just hasn’t been able to make that pitch. So we just want him to make sure that he’s continuing to work.”

Barrett’s most-recent appearance came under somewhat unusual circumstances, with starter Gio Gonzalez pulled after allowing a leadoff single on his second pitch of the sixth inning. Afterward, Barrett hinted he didn’t have much time to warm-up prior to his entry.

“I did the best I could with the one batter I was able to get loose during the sixth inning,” he said. “It is what it is, but you’ve got to find a way to get the job done. I didn’t make pitches, and that’s the result of it.”

Treinen rejoins the Nationals after his demotion to Class AAA last month. He made only five appearances for Syracuse, but totaled 12 innings and didn’t surrender a run, striking out 14 with only one walk. The 27-year-old battled his own inconsistencies while in the big leagues earlier this season, with a 4.39 ERA in 32 relief appearances. He hopes an emphasis on getting left-handed batters out — he started using his 4-seam fastball more against them in Syracuse — will help him now that he’s back at this level after a demotion he understood was necessary.

“Shoot, it was no news to me,” Treinen said. “I’m not trying to be upset for the lack or performance I had, or the reason I got sent down. I had things I had to work on that are going to help this team, and hopefully it translates when I get back up here.”

  1. masterfishkeeper - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Not at all surprising. So Treinen gives them a bit of a long reliever, if needed.

  2. janebeard - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Get better down there, Bear. And may Blake’s renewed good habits come back with him.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:37 PM

      +2 (one for each player)

      Nice to read something nice about Bear (even if it’s just good wishes!)

  3. veejh - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    I guess I’ll take Treinen over Barrett right now.

    • scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      I’ll take Moore over Barrett right now

      • veejh - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:30 PM


  4. hersheyman - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    Something had to be done to shake things up. Certainly can’t hurt. Plus, Treinan has better stuff.

    Let’s see what MW does with SS today. He has to keep Espnosa in the lineup over Desmond. One cant judge Espiinosa’s performance yesterday after going 10 days with 1-2 AB.

    • rlndtln - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      Musical chairs on the Titanic.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:39 PM

      He has to keep Espnosa in the lineup over Desmond. One cant judge Espiinosa’s performance yesterday after going 10 days with 1-2 AB.

      How about the last 30 days?

      (as noted in another thread)

      Since 30 days ago (July 7 thru today), Espi is batting .175 (and even his OBA is under .200). Ian is .220-something during that period, I think.

  5. rmoore446 - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    Not surprised at Barrett. Hope he gets better enough to deserve a September call-up. I would guess MW will have Desi back at SS but hope I’m wrong. One other stray memory is Geo had difficulty throwing to first early in the game with Ryan saving him on the first two but not on the last. Almost like he had the yipes. Odd as I can’t recall that being a problem with him.

    • natsguy - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Gio has always been a loose cannon with regards to his fielding. Has always had an issue remembering to cover first.

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:16 PM


      You keep bringing up this comparison of Espinosa and Desmond over the past thirty days showing that Desi’s numbers are better however what I, and I think others don’t understand is MW continuing to use Desmond consistently day in day out while letting Espinosa stay on the bench. Espi’s numbers aren’t going to improve unless he gets some AB’s . In essence with Danny sitting out most of the last two weeks you are comparing Desmond with a 30 day sample vs Espinosa on about a 20 (or less) day sample. I don’t think that is a valid comparison.

      • veejh - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:31 PM

        Agree. Play him for a week or two straight, and then pass judgement.

      • hersheyman - Aug 6, 2015 at 4:27 PM

        Excellent posts knox and veejh. Couldn’t have said it better.

    • catcher50 - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      Barrett’s problem is that his heater is straight. No matter how fast, if a pitch is arrow straight, it will leave faster than it comes in.

  6. golfersal - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    A team totally lost right now.
    Barrett has not been good for a bit so the domotion was the right thing to do.
    Nats have to do something fast or the NLEast could get out of hand.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Is Treinen a fixed man? He has electric stuff but has had an issue locating his fastball and his K/9 must improve.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      The question is: did he straighten himself out? Or is he a good AAAA player?

      (I’m not saying I know the answer!)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:41 PM

        I saw a lot in Treinen last year and this year he seemed to show inconsistencies and a lack of improvement over last year.

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:32 PM

    From Bob Nightingale: “Dave Dombrowski already is drawing plenty of interest. The Leading potential clubs: #BlueJays, #Nats,#Angels, #RedSox, #Brewers, #Mariners”

    Is this Bob’s list? Sorry, I don’t want Dombrowski running my club.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      I heard speculation, but it was a columnist making connections, not an actual rumor. I’m happy with Rizzo and I hope the Lerners are.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:02 PM

        I would hope so. Things aren’t perfect but what team is.

      • Doc - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:38 PM

        Some of those teams would be a fit. Brewers and Nats, for different reasons, aren’t in the mix.

        This list must be Nightingale’s day dream.

    • catcher50 - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      Nightingale is about like the rest of them. make up something and throw it against the wall and if it sticks, great. If not, no one remembers.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:52 PM

        He names numerous teams and will be right on one if he’s lucky

  9. NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:58 PM

    So for fantasy reporting I looked up Gio. This is my blurb.

    “In his last seven starts, Gonzalez (8-4, ERA 3.75) is 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA, and has not allowed more than two earned runs in any outing. However, he has thrown seven innings only twice, and his SO/BB ratio is 37/13 in that period.”

    I think we have nothing to complain about in Gio.

    • hokiepokster92 - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:08 PM

      If there is a criticism is lack of efficiency. He racks up too high a pitch count by the time the 5th inning arrives. And with the state of this bullpen, the middle innings are a huge hole. It bears repeating. Craig Stammen is sorely missed.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:44 PM

        This times 1000. I said something like this earlier and some took it as me saying last night’s loss was on him. That wasn’t the case at all. It was to start that Gio can be, at times like last night, an inefficient pitcher. And with the BP being what it is, we needed 6 from him.

  10. natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Random thought here. So when they re-arranged the deck chairs on the actual Titanic, what was the name of the AAA ship?

    • Doc - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      U.S.S. Syracuse?????

    • Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      The Carpathia came to the rescue, picked up a lot of survivors.

      Don’t ask me why I know that random bit of useless information; I have a whole warehouse full of it.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 6, 2015 at 6:53 PM

        Yes, but who replaced Gehrig at first for the Yankees? Everybody knows Wally Pipp, even the people who don’t know why they know.

  11. hokiepokster92 - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    The revolving door of relievers continues. Perhaps Rizzo needed to make another move besides Papelbon? He still can but it will be slimmer pickings.

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    hmmm…Rizzo must have heard me yelling at my tv last night. What?

  13. tcostant - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    I think the Who said it best, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.





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