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Trevor Rosenthal has a new moment — this one to forget

Trevor Rosenthal has a new moment — this one to forget

Update: Rosenthal was released, the team announced on Sunday morning.

WASHINGTON — A night after Trevor Rosenthal appeared to be close to fixed — or at least usable — he reverted. Back was the pitch-pulling lost reliever who couldn’t find his command and continues to corner and perplex the Nationals.

Rosenthal retired one batter in a big spot on Friday. He warmed up to enter in the seventh inning Saturday. The Nationals led Atlanta 8-4 at the time, creating a cushion by knocking around Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz for eight earned runs.

When Rosenthal rolled in via a ride from the bullpen cart, the hope was Friday night served as a high step for him. He climbed up, and now pursued others, maybe a full inning of moderate-leverage work. Instead, he immediately looked off.

Rosenthal walked Tyler Flowers on five pitches. Matt Joyce walked on six pitches. Ronald Acuña, Jr. walked on four pitches -- the last of which almost hit him. That was the end for Rosenthal after 15 pitches, just three of which were strikes. Tanner Rainey replaced him, walked in a run, then allowed a double to Freddie Freeman. Tie game, then the Braves took off in a 13-9 win. Rosenthal’s final line: zero innings pitched, zero hits, three earned runs, three walks, a bevy of here-we-go-again.

“[Friday], he seemed a little bit poised but [Saturday] he seemed antsy out there,” Martinez said. “Some of those pitches were close, I didn't see 'em yet, but I'll have to look and see where we're at.”

The question, as always after a Rosenthal appearance this season, is the simple but diabolical, “What’s next?”

Rosenthal’s salary and ceiling have brought him this far into the season. If he could ever morph back into the high-end closer he was in St. Louis, the Nationals would have a key bullpen piece. If he cost less than $7 million, he would have been jettisoned long ago.

He’s done next to nothing to show any consistency will come in this first season following Tommy John surgery. Leaving an incapable Rosenthal in the bullpen only contorts the options for Martinez. Rosenthal can’t be sent to the minor leagues without his consent. Releasing him means eating a sunk cost and trolling for a replacement. The Nationals have been stashing veteran relievers at Triple-A Fresno: Fernando Rodney, Michael Blazek and George Kontos. None are on the 40-man roster. All were available for a reason.

No longer available is former Cleveland closer Cody Allen, who was recently released. He signed with Minnesota on Saturday.

So, the Nationals have to decide — again — a future step for Rosenthal. He contends a small tweak will fix his Saturday issue. Asked if they were back to square one, Martinez said, “I'll have to figure it out tonight and see...” Neither approach has worked this season.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Rain, roster moves and Ryan Zimmerman to the IL

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Washington Nationals Roundup: Rain, roster moves and Ryan Zimmerman to the IL

Rain in D.C. postponed the Nationals' series opener against the Rockies on Monday. But although no players took the field, there was plenty of roster movement.

Check out the latest news and notes surrounding the Nationals.

Player Notes: 

With Monday's game being pushed to a Wednesday split doubleheader, it's likely RHP Erick Fedde will start one of Wednesday's games. RHP Stephen Strasburg will still make his scheduled start on Tuesday. 

RHP Austin Voth was set to throw on Monday after he was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday with right biceps tendinitis.

1B Ryan Zimmerman was also placed on the 10-day injured list Monday after his plantar fasciitis in his right foot flared up on Sunday. He was kept out of play for the same injury earlier this season.

The Nationals transferred RHP Justin Miller from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for RHP Michael Blazek, whose contract Washington purchased from Triple-A Fresno on Monday. Blazek's last major-league appearance was in 2017.

RHP Kyle McGowin was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg on Monday. He'll rejoin the Senators' rotation.

OF Andrew Stevenson was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and will back up all three outfield positions in D.C.

Meanwhile, RHP Max Scherzer threw a full bullpen session on Monday without any problems. He'll likely return to the Nationals' rotation either Thursday (against the Rockies) or Friday (against the Dodgers).

Injuries: 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out until mid-July

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, 10-Day IL, status uncertain

SP Austin Voth: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, status uncertain

SP Max Scherzer: Back, 10-Day IL, out until late July

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely 

Coming Up:

Tuesday 7/23:  Nationals vs. Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Wednesday 7/24: Nationals vs. Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Thursday 7/25: Nationals vs. Rockies, 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Source: Rotoworld

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Ryan Zimmerman’s ailing foot returns him to the injured list

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USA Today

Ryan Zimmerman’s ailing foot returns him to the injured list

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman is on the injured list. Again.

Zimmerman was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which also caused him to be on the injured list earlier this season from April 28 to June 27.

Outfielder Andrew Stevenson was called up to take Zimmerman’s spot on the roster. In a separate move, veteran reliever Michael Blazek was summoned from Triple-A Fresno on Monday. Reliever Kyle McGowin was sent to Double-A Harrisburg.

Zimmerman, who turns 35 years old Sept. 28, has played just 33 games this season. He played 85 games last season. The Nationals are hopeful this “partial rupture” could go away quickly. The bigger picture view is what this means for Zimmerman next year.

The team holds an $18 million option on him. It will be declined. Zimmerman knew at the beginning of the season his health would be key to every aspect of his future, If he was healthy, he thought he could still play well. He hit .333 in July, proving that idea to be true. But, he has not remained healthy.

From the start of the year, the Nationals and Zimmerman have said they hope to work something out if the contract option is not picked up. Zimmerman joined the organization in 2005. He doesn’t seem inclined to go elsewhere. 

An oblique injury stalled Zimmerman last year. This year, his foot won’t cooperate. Zimmerman could come off the injured list Aug. 1. If he does, and plays every game the rest of the season, he would max out at 87 games played. He would be provided days off when he returns, so Zimmerman is almost assured of playing fewer games this season than last.

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