The Nationals announced today that they have activated righty Kyle Barraclough from the 10-day injured list. Rather than bringing him back onto the MLB roster, the club optioned Barraclough to Double-A.
Barraclough had been sidelined since mid-June with nerve irritation in his right forearm. The 29-year-old, acquired over the offseason, is earning $1.725MM this year in his first season of arbitration eligibility.
Before hitting the shelf, Barraclough had struggled to a 6.39 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. Despite a solid 30:12 K/BB ratio, the righty reliever was touched for seven long balls. Statcast has in the past credited Barraclough with maintaining low hard-hit rates, helping to offset his typically hefty walk numbers. But opposing hitters have jumped him for 43.6% hard contact this year as he has continued to shed fastball velocity (from an early-career peak of 96.6 mph down to 93.7 mph in 2019).
The Nats may well need to call upon Barraclough again later in the season, but they’ll first see if they can find more consistency from other arms. The D.C. relief unit still lacks much in the way of stability, though it is no longer performing at historically awful rates after an unbelievably poor start to the year.