The Nationals announced that they’ve claimed 26-year-old right-handed reliever Eric Fornataro off waivers from the Cardinals.
Fornataro, a sixth-round draft pick by the Redbirds in 2008, made his Major League debut this season, allowing five earned runs on 11 hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. His average fastball checked in at a solid 92.8 mph in that time, and he registered a 51.4 percent ground-ball rate in that small sample as well.
The rest of Fornataro’s season was spent at Triple-A Memphis, where in 56 innings he posted a 2.57 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9, though it’s worth noting that at least part of his success was due to a likely unsustainable .254 BABIP.
Baseball America once ranked Fornataro 21st among Cardinals farmhands, writing prior to the 2013 season that his velocity jumped up into the 96-98 mph range and touched 99 on occasion following a move to the bullpen. BA praised his curve more than his splitter, adding that he tends to get grounders in bulk when he’s throwing well.