Sept. 4: Barrett’s contract has officially been selected from Double-A Harrisburg, the Nationals announced. Right-hander Austen Williams has been moved from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster. And regardless of which team you follow, you’ll want to check out the video footage of Harrisburg skipper Matthew LeCroy informing Barrett that he’s returning to the Majors for the first time in more than four years.
Sept. 3: The Nationals have selected the contract of right-handed reliever Aaron Barrett to the Major League roster, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter). Today’s promotion marks the culmination of an extraordinary comeback for Barrett, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and subsequently fractured his elbow the following July during a simulated game. He last pitched in a big league game on Aug. 5, 2015.
Prior to tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Barrett looked like an up-and-coming asset for the Nationals. He didn’t debut at the MLB level until his age-26 season in 2014, but he gave the Nats 70 innings of 3.47 ERA ball with 10.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9 and a 44.9 percent ground-ball rate between 2014-15. Barrett averaged 94 mph on his sinker and posted a combined 13.1 swinging-strike rate and 34 percent opponents’ chase rate when healthy and in the Majors.
Now 31 years of age, Barrett has spent the season to date with Washington’s Double-A affiliate, where he’s authored a 2.75 ERA with a 62-to-16 K/BB ratio and a 50.8 percent grounder rate in 52 1/3 innings of relief. He’ll give the Nationals another piece to utilize in their ever-changing bullpen mix and, should he impress over the next few weeks, would even be postseason eligible if Washington claims a playoff spot. Barrett will finish out the year exactly one day shy of three years of MLB service, meaning he’d technically be controllable through the 2023 season if he can return to health and reestablish himself as a viable Major League reliever.