The Nationals' revolving-door bullpen spun around again Friday when the club placed Aaron Barrett on the 15-day disabled list with a strained biceps muscle and officially added fellow right-hander David Carpenter to the major-league roster.
Barrett's injury, which forced him from Thursday night's game in Milwaukee during the bottom of the eighth inning, was diagnosed Friday as a biceps strain. The full severity of the ailment (and a timetable for his return) wasn't immediately known, but it does appear the young right-hander avoided a more serious injury to his elbow or shoulder.
Barrett departed Thursday's game after giving up the eventual winning run on an opposite-field single to Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett, then after throwing two straight balls to Hernan Perez. His last pitch, 92 mph and well above the strike zone, prompted manager Matt Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and assistant athletic trainer Steve Gober to emerge from the dugout to check on the reliever. Barrett departed a few moments later, head down, clearly upset by the situation.
Barrett has been the most-used member of the Nationals' bullpen so far this season, appearing in 30 of the club's first 60 games, tied for third-most in the NL. The 27-year-old pitched in five of the Nats' last seven games, spanning eight days, and was scored upon in his last two outings, raising his ERA to 5.06.
Barrett's spot in the Nationals' bullpen will be taken by Carpenter, the veteran right-hander acquired from the Yankees on Thursday for minor-league infielder Tony Renda.
Carpenter had been designated for assignment by New York last week after posting a 4.82 ERA in 22 appearances, putting 28 men on base in only 18 2/3 innings. But the 29-year-old was a successful and key member of the Braves’ bullpen from 2013-14, with a 2.63 ERA, 1.121 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings.
Once he takes the mound in his new uniform, Carpenter will become the 17th different reliever to appear in a game this season for the Nationals. That's more relievers than the club has used in any full season since 2011 and just five shy of the team record (22, set in 2009). The Nats used only 12 total relievers last season.