Friday, 28 July, 2017

Nationals acquire relievers Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson from Athletics

Los Angeles Dodgers Cody Bellinger celebrates with Trayce Thompson, Logan Forsythe and Corey Seager after the Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins 7-1 in a baseball game Saturday Washington Nationals Acquire Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle From Oakland Athletics
Kenny Thornton | 17 July, 2017, 17:37

If we assume that the Nationals will have 20 more save opportunities between now and the end of the season then it is not inconcievable that both pitchers could wind up with ten saves or more. The righty has fanned 39 batters in 39.1 innings while earning one save and 14 holds.

Madson has not allowed a run over his last 7.1 innings. Their bullpen was awful up to this point (-0.9 combined fWAR) and while they have the best offense in baseball, there is no way they would make it through a postseason with what they had in the bullpen. On Saturday, the relief corps almost blew a 10-0 lead in Cincinnati, allowing seven runs over the final three innings to elevate its ERA to 5.34, highest in the majors. His best came in 2014, where he became an All-Star and posted 22 saves with a 2.73 ERA. He will likely be used as a setup man for the A's this season. Madson has been just as good, if not better this season with a 2.06 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. As for Doolittle, he's so dominant against lefties that it's hard to envision Baker reserving him exclusively for ninth-inning use when there's sure to be tough lefty hitters who need to be retired in earlier innings.

Gareth Bale: I Never Thought About Leaving Real Madrid
The ankle is strong and I am ready". "I'm going to try and have my best season, of course, and if I respect the injuries I will have a great season".

In addition, Madson and Doolittle bring veteran presence to a bullpen lacking that. Madson has a career 2.91 ERA in 43.1 postseason innings. Injury issues are an issue as he missed 41 days this year with arm issues. He had some memorable blown saves, but he has also had some memorably good playoff performances and has 11 strikeouts in those nine innings. Doolittle's health history isn't as predictable. After a decent season as the Athletics closer previous year, Madson returned to the mound in 2017 in a setup role behind Santiago Casilla.

Regardless of their age, both Doolittle and Madson join the Nationals after putting together phenomenal seasons for the Athletics while maintaining mid-90s velocity. Washington could probably stand to add more bullpen depth for the middle innings, but Madson and Doolittle will go a long way toward shoring up the biggest weakness on a team that now looks poised to battle the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL pennant this October. Doolittle is owed the rest of his $2.6 million this year, $4.35 next season with a $6 million club option for 2019 and a $6.5 club option for 2020.

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