The Nationals have released left-hander Vidal Nuno III from his minor league contract, as first announced yesterday by Paul Braverman of the Fresno Grizzlies’ communications department (Twitter link). Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post added that Nuno had a second opt-out date in his deal looming on June 15.
The 31-year-old Nuno’s numbers with Triple-A Fresno don’t look particularly appealing at first glance, as he’s been tagged for a 7.25 ERA in 22 1/3 innings of work. That ERA is perhaps a bit misleading, as Nuno had a 3.98 mark in that regard as recently as two appearances ago. However, the southpaw was clobbered for six runs in an inning in his second-most recent outing, and he followed that up by allowing three runs in an inning his last time out. Beyond that pair of awful outings, he’s had a solid, if unremarkable run in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Nuno is not far removed from a 2018 season in which he turned in a 1.64 ERA with 29 strikeouts against 10 walks (three of which were intentional), 1.36 HR/9 and a 28.6 percent ground-ball rate in 33 innings for the Rays. He benefited from a tiny .216 BABIP and a ridiculous 100 percent left-on-base percentage — all of the runs he allowed came on home runs — but Nuno does have a respectable track record at the big league level. He’s started 42 games and made 113 relief appearances while compiling a 4.06 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.55 HR/9 and a 37.9 percent ground-ball rate through 377 innings.