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Nats add Grace, Martin as September call-ups

Sep 2, 2015, 4:59 PM EDT

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The second wave of September call-ups for the Nationals took place on Wednesday, as relievers Matt Grace and Rafael Martin were added to the roster, which now sits at 30. Both pitchers were recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.

Grace, 26, joins the Nats for the first time since going to the minors on June 1. In 17 MLB appearances this season he has a 5.25 ERA in 12 total innings. He made his debut on April 22.

Grace made 38 total appearances with the Chiefs this season. He posted a 2.40 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 16 walks in 48 2/3 innings

Martin, 31, made his MLB debut on April 15 and was then optioned to Syracuse on April 28. The right-hander pitched four outings with the Nats and gave up five earned runs in five innings of work.

Martin was also much better with Syracuse this season. He had a 3.21 ERA in 46 appearances with 68 strikeouts and 16 walks in 56 innings.

The Nats called up infielder Dan Uggla, catcher Pedro Severino and reliever Sammy Solis on Tuesday, the first day MLB rosters were allowed to expand.

  1. naterialguy - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:01 PM


  2. Section 222 - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    I’d love to know why these two weren’t able to make it to St. Louis yesterday. At the least, they might have given MW flexibility to use Pap in the 9th. Or at least give Janssen the day off.

    Any of our prospect experts have a prediction whether Grace and Martin will be better in the show this month than they were in April and May?

    • langleyclub - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:14 PM

      My guess is that the Nats simply failed to anticipate that they might need the bullpen from the 3rd inning on, and the organization didn’t want to pay the cost to send two additional arms out to St. Louis, and pay their per diem, and their pro rata salary for the St. Louis road trip. Sounds incredible, but that’s the way the Nats operate.

      Seriously, I’ve heard stories about how there is pressure from the top of the organization to pinch pennies on ridiculously trivial costs (like scrutinizing and rejecting travel expenses for scouts) while at the same time agreeing to pay Max Scherzer and Jason Werth millions. No chance that anyone within the Nats will admit it, but it was really odd when the Nats only added one arm to taxed bullpen on September 1, and it came back to haunt them. Karma.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:57 PM

        Also, if they had been brought to STL yesterday there’s always the possibility they wouldn’t have been available anyway due to recent workload in the minors.

      • jd - Sep 2, 2015 at 6:03 PM


        I also agree with you that if you perceive to have a limited number of available as MW obviously did you can’t use your relievers the way he did. (Fister, Treinen and Rivero all could have pitched 1 inning longer at least).

      • NatsLady - Sep 2, 2015 at 7:19 PM

        Treinen could have but Rivero had just thrown on Monday, and Fister had pitched a couple of innings on Sunday. Fister uses up a LOT of energy when he pitches, expecting more than four innings in two days is pushing it.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      Williams had eight guys available in the bullpen last night and left two on the table in a nine inning game. So complaints that Rizzo left him undermanned are basically unfounded.

      • Karl Kolchak - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:56 PM

        Not if they had gone into extra innings…not to mention that had they had the arms in the BP as they should have, Papelbon rather that Janssen likely would have pitched in the 9th. So yes, it was GM malpractice by Rizzo all the way.

      • jd - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:58 PM

        They are a little founded. He kept Solis in case the game dragged on for several more innings and Paplebon in case he needed someone to close. The 1st move was reasonable the 2nd not so much.

        I am of the opinion that come September if you are still in the race you have the flood the bullpen with as many pitchers as possible so you can match up batter to batter if you need to. Failure to do so puts you at a disadvantage against teams who do.

        The fact that they had to fly 2 pitchers to St.Louis today is really an admission that they screwed up yesterday. That’s really an amateurish move by Rizzo.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Sep 2, 2015 at 6:20 PM

        So you have been tracking Martin’s and Grace’s MiLB usage to know for sure that they would have been available to pitch if Rizzo had brought them to STL yesterday?

        Also, re not pitching Solis because he needed to be available for long relief in extras, why not double switch to start his long relief in the ninth with the game tied? If whoever pitches the ninth doesn’t blow it, you know you’ll be going to extras. Then use Papelbon or Janssen to close if you get a lead. MW loves to save his bullets for situations that may never happen, doesn’t he? The good news I guess is that as Svrluga has pointed out, Papelbon is fresh tonight!

      • NatsLady - Sep 2, 2015 at 7:14 PM

        My understanding is the pitcher’s sport was coming up and he wanted to use the one-inning reliever (Janssen), then pinch hit for him and then use the long guy (Solis) or if we had the lead, Papelbon. Of course, he could have used a double switch, putting both Danny and Solis in. I would guess, GUESS, that he valued the offense of Escobar/Desmond over that of Danny’s and didn’t want to take either of them out of a tie game where he only needs one run.

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 2, 2015 at 5:58 PM

      Martin has been lights out the past two months, and Grace has also pitched better as of late. Whether that translates to being able to consistently get MLB hitters out remains to be seen.

  3. langleyclub - Sep 2, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Both Grace and Martin had not pitched since August 29 (Saturday) when each pitched one inning. Both were available and fresh to pitch yesterday. The Nats screwed up by waiting until today to bring them up. No getting around it.

    • Section 222 - Sep 2, 2015 at 11:46 PM

      Thanks for looking that up. Too bad Woo (aka Feel Wood) couldn’t be bothered to do a little research before making his aggressive comment.

  4. janebeard - Sep 2, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    I hope our BP has a good reason to be deployed tonight and that they get used smartly. I’m afraid to watch. Actually not turning it on until I break down and recall this is September and there are only a few weeks I CAN watch. Till then…pouring the Bourbon and Maalox early

    • Another_Sam - Sep 2, 2015 at 9:18 PM

      Right on, JaneB. I’m with you.

      • knoxvillenat - Sep 2, 2015 at 9:37 PM

        At times like this I recommend skipping the Maalox and going with straight bourbon. Seriously.





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