The Nats could’ve kept Grace around had they waited two more days. At that point, both pitchers could’ve occupied the same active roster. But it may well be that the club already anticipates needing a 40-man roster spot for the addition of another player.
A variety of veteran hurlers remain stashed at Triple-A or on the injured list. Greg Holland, J.J. Hoover, Justin Miller, and Sam Freeman are just a few of the reliever possibilities. And the Nats would need a 40-man spot to activate Jeremy Hellickson if and when he’s ready.
Grace certainly hasn’t helped his own cause this season. He has been a regular part of the middle-relief rotation over the past three years but has never been blitzed like this. Through 46 2/3 innings in 2019, Grace has coughed up 11 long balls and owns a 6.36 ERA with 6.8 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9.
Acquired at the deadline, Elias made just one appearance before hitting the IL with a hamstring injury. He had been a solid performer for the Mariners dating back to the start of the 2018 campaign. Elias was added to function as the Nats’ new top setup lefty.