Nationals Release Luis Ayala

11:19pm: The Orioles and another team have already offered Ayala contracts, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  Ayala is weighing the two offers and will likely make his choice on Thursday.

12:49pm: The Nationals have granted right-hander Luis Ayala his unconditional release, tweets Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington. The veteran reliever will head home to Arizona with the hope of signing on with another club quickly, he adds.

The 36-year-old Ayala struggled in camp with the Nationals, allowing nine runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts in six innings of work. However, he's coming off a strong performance with the Braves in 2013, in which he pitched to a 2.90 ERA with 5.8 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 59.6 percent ground-ball rate in 31 innings of work. He did miss a chunk of the season on the disabled list as he dealt with anxiety disorder, but a 2.73 ERA in 26 1/3 innings following that DL stint seems to indicate that he was able to work through the issue.

Ayala drew interest from a number of clubs this offseason, including the Mariners, Tigers and Indians, so he could land another shot to prove himself with a different club despite the early struggles in Spring Training.


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23 Comments on "Nationals Release Luis Ayala"


MB923
1 year 4 months ago

Yanks could use another vet for late relief.

This all could just be very coincidental but his career ERA in the 8th inning is 3.90. In the 7th inning, it’s 2.35.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 4 months ago

I think he would be a good fit with the Yanks too, especially since he’s shown the ability to pitch in that division in that with that short porch.

MB923
1 year 4 months ago

And, more importantly, in the latter part of his career.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

Yanks do need pen help but Ayala is a low strikeout, groundball pitcher. He relies heavily on his infield defense. NYY does not have strong defensive IF to back him up.

MB923
1 year 4 months ago

Late inning relief pitchers are usually joined with late inning defensive replacements. Yanks have Brendan Ryan to play late innings for Jeter defensively. Tex is a GG 1B. Brian Roberts is mehh. And the starting 3B is still in the air so I can’t say, whoever it is, if they are good or bad. Likely Kelly Johnson though who has little experience at 3B (118 innings there)

bravesnjays
1 year 4 months ago

A guy with anxiety issues playing for the Yankees…in that market, with those fans, and with that media presence? Sounds like a wonderful fit.

MB923
1 year 4 months ago

I guess you are unaware that he played for the Yankees in 2011 and did fairly well

bravesnjays
1 year 4 months ago

It was my understanding that the anxiety disorder developed rather recently….after his stint with the Yankees. Pretending it won’t affect him moving forward is naive. Being unable to buy an out in spring training and being released is also going to do wonders for that anxiety.

MB923
1 year 4 months ago

Not that I’m comparing the 2 pitchers, but it didn’t seem to bother Greinke in LA.

You are correct in that the anxiety order was rather recent. I just looked it up since I never heard of it until now.

Nonetheless, I think it’s a move worth making for the Yankees.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 4 months ago

Fairly well is an understatement but I bet there’s some sabermetric that says otherwise.

johnsilver
1 year 4 months ago

He’s one of those guys that the numbers were always better than he actually pitched IMO and not just with the Yanks. Many of his games were blow outs, both ways. Showalter didn’t have a lot of faith in him either as recall as to when he would come in during games.

EmDash
1 year 4 months ago

He claims he didn’t have anxiety issues – that he had some kind of gastrointestinal issue that the Braves misrepresented. Hard to say if it’s accurate, of course.

bravesnjays
1 year 4 months ago

What do the Braves have to gain from calling gastrointestinal issues anxiety issues? Not saying there isn’t something, I just don’t know what it would be. I do however see how Ayala would gain from calling an anxiety issue a GI issue.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 4 months ago

Did a doctor ever diagnose him with that disorder?

bravesnjays
1 year 4 months ago

If Ayala had “bacteria” as he says why not file a grievance ? In order to know he had “bacteria” he would have had to have seen a doctor. If he saw a doctor it would be very easy to prove his claims. That being said I don’t know if he was ever specifically diagnosed by a psychological expert… Just don’t understand what the Braves stood to gain in this situation by lying, but I’m willing to consider your ideas…

Bronx Bombers
1 year 4 months ago

Gastrointestinal issues may have only been enough to make him day to day, maybe by diagnosing him with a mental illness would warrant putting him on the DL for longer to free up a roster spot.

bravesnjays
1 year 4 months ago

Other players in the past have been sent to the DL for illness/sickness… Even gastrointestinal issues. Last year Clayton Richards was sent to the DL for what sounded like that same issue as Ayala is claiming. So they could have sent him to the DL for that. Furthermore it isn’t like he was gone for 10 days he was gone for 2 whole months before starting a rehab assignment. Something was wrong with this guy and it would be easy to prove Ayala’s story if it were true.

Natsfan89
1 year 4 months ago

To bad, was pulling for him. Who takes the last spot in the pen? Garcia?

Danny Phillips
1 year 4 months ago

Barrett is a possibility, he has been lights out.

Seamaholic
1 year 4 months ago

Good solid pitcher. He’ll be unemployed for roughly ten minutes …

Tony Matias
1 year 4 months ago

Jack is salivating.

daveineg
1 year 4 months ago

His WHIP last year was 1.545. Not good. I suspect he won’t be in great demand.

connfyoozed .
1 year 4 months ago

I’m not so sure about that. Ayala is one of those guys who is willing to pitch in whatever situation you ask him to, and he induces ground balls. Don’t be surprised if he latches on somewhere before training camp.