8:26pm: Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post clears things up. He says Villone was re-signed to a minor league and assigned to Extended Spring Training, presumably for conditioning purposes.
3:06pm: The Nationals have apparently retained lefty reliever Ron Villone, based on this tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Ladson says Villone is "back in the Nats organization, working out in Viera, Florida right now." The Nationals had released Villone in March after three spring appearances. Ladson notes that Villone had a leg injury prior to the release, which probably explains why they were unable to let him go.
Villone, 40, posted a 6.66 K/9 and 4.81 BB/9 in 24.3 innings against lefties last year. Control was a problem in '08 as well, through he had a better strikeout rate. Villone has pitched for a dozen different teams in his 15 seasons.
Best long-reliever in baseball
At what? Putting up ERA/FIP marks around 5?
He doesn’t have much of a platoon split, which is nice, but his command is really shaky, he’s not a groundball pitcher, and he doesn’t miss enough bats to make up for that.
Oh no, he’s not really.
He’s a terrible pitcher anyway you want to slice it.
But once upon a time, Scott Boras literally shopped him around to teams as “The Best Long Reliever in Baseball,” which is quite the oxymoron when you consider most long guys are failed starters or struggling middle guys.
the most evil K/9 statistic in baseball.
Just goes to show you can always find a job somewhere if you’re left handed and can throw a baseball.