Bullpen dealt blow as Barraclough to IL 

Nationals reliever dealing with right radial nerve irritation

June 16th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals placed reliever Kyle Barraclough on the injured list prior to Sunday’s series finale against the D-backs with right radial nerve irritation. Infielder Adrian Sanchez was promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to take his place.

Barraclough allowed three runs while recording just one out during his appearance in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 10-3 loss to Arizona, and his velocity was a few ticks lower during the appearance. After the game, he told the Nats training staff of a “tingling” feeling in his arm.

Manager Dave Martinez, who after Saturday’s game said Barraclough told him he has been feeling healthy, said it was the first the Nats have heard of him dealing with this injury. Barraclough was scheduled to be examined by team doctors on Sunday, so Martinez did not have further details on Barraclough’s injury status or a timeline.

"He said he felt it after the game,” Martinez said Sunday. “So, he kind of got nervous.”

The Nationals acquired Barraclough from the Marlins this offseason in exchange for international slot money, believing they had found a bargain for a reliever with closing experience to fill the backend of their bullpen. But he has struggled all season. In 32 games, Barraclough owns a 6.39 ERA and 1.74 WHIP, and he has surrendered seven home runs, one away from his career high.

He struggled to explain the root of his struggles after Saturday’s game.

“A lot of things we need to work on, obviously,” he said. “I felt like I was taking a couple good steps in the right direction those last two outings, and felt like the ball was coming out well.”

Of the moves the Nationals made this winter aiming to improve their bullpen, none of them have worked out according to plan.

Trevor Rosenthal spent a month rehabbing at extended spring camp trying to sort out his mechanics, and although he has put together a few improved recent appearances, his ERA is 21.60 and is still not a reliable option in high leverage situations. Tony Sipp was signed to get tough lefties out, but left-handers are batting .313/.343/.406 in 32 at-bats against him this season. And Barraclough had been pitching poorly before this injury arrived.

"We got to get Barraclough fixed and get him ready to go, we still got a lot of games left,” Martinez said. “Hopefully this is not a long-term thing and then he can come back and help us win games.”