WASHINGTON -- When the Nationals acquired Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins in the offseason, they envisioned using him in situations like the eighth inning of Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Dodgers. Barraclough was brought into a high leverage situation with the game on the line -- two runners on with two outs in a tie game -- and he promptly surrendered a three-run homer to Justin Turner to catapult the Dodgers to victory.
One day after that outing, the Nationals sent Barraclough back to Double-A Harrisburg, calling up infielder Adrian Sanchez prior to Saturday afternoon’s game against the Dodgers to give manager Dave Martinez a four-man bench. Barraclough had been promoted from the Minors the day before after piecing together a few successful outings at Double-A, but that success has not translated with the Nats.
Barraclough’s first season in Washington has been a disaster, posting a 6.66 ERA in 33 games with a 1.75 WHIP and a 30-to-12 (2.50) strikeout to walk ratio.
“You just try and keep moving forward,” Barraclough said after Friday’s game. “It's the first time I’ve been in the Minor Leagues for three years and I feel like I made some really positive things. I haven't been 94-96 [mph] all year and to come out and just have that in the tank and see that some of the stuff's working, now it’s just a matter of getting into games… obviously the box score results weren’t there, but some of the mechanical things I've been working really hard on were.”
Sanchez’s return gives Martinez more options off the bench as he attempts to navigate Saturday’s bullpen day.
“It’s tough not having that extra guy on the bench,” Martinez said. “It gives us an opportunity to pinch-hit earlier if we need to.”