The Nationals announced today that they’ve placed lefty Jonny Venters on the 10-day injured list. He has been diagnosed with a left shoulder strain. That’s an injury that could conceivably be quite concerning, though there’s no indication to this point of the severity.
Righty Kyle McGowin was promoted to take the open roster spot. He had been shipped out on optional assignment to make room for Venters when the veteran’s contract was selected recently.
The Nats continue to churn through arms as they try to keep the bullpen afloat. The club received three appearances from Venters, over which he registered five strikeouts but also gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks. McGowin, 27, has a shiny 11:2 K/BB ratio in his ten MLB innings this year but has also been tagged for 11 earned runs and three long ball in that brief span.
Given their recent performances, neither Venters nor McGowin seem like optimal solutions for the D.C. club. But the organization’s other options can be classed similarly. Lefty Dan Jennings is stashed at Triple-A — where he was sent after a rough showing with the big club. The team just activated righty Kyle Barraclough, but promptly optioned him to iron out his season-long struggles. Just-signed veteran Brad Boxberger has a solid history in the majors, but was bad enough this year that the Royals sent him packing despite already being on the hook for his salary.
While the Nationals will hope their current pen mix is sufficient to get them through the next several weeks, the front office is assuredly working hard to line up new options. The club could unquestionably stand to add multiple arms to its relief corps, much as it did two summers back (but with an even more stringent need). It’ll be interesting to see how the deadline period unfolds.