The Nationals announced on Monday that they’ve selected the contract of left-handed reliever Tim Collins from Triple-A Syracuse. (Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post first reported that Collins was likely to be added following an injury to Ryan Madson.) In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Collins, the Nats moved Howie Kendrick from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. Kendrick suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon over the weekend and will miss the remainder of the season.
Collins’ promotion will be the culmination of a three-year journey back to the Majors after missing the 2015, 2016 and most of the 2017 seasons due to injury. Once a quality reliever in a dominant Royals bullpen that perhaps helped to kickstart baseball’s bullpen revolution, Collins hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2014 due to a pair of Tommy John surgeries.
Still just 28 years of age, Collins will bring a career 3.54 ERA over the life of 211 big league innings to the Nationals’ bullpen. He’s had no trouble missing bats in his career, averaging 9.4 K/9 in parts of four seasons — highlighted by a career-best 12.0 mark in 2012. Control has been more of an issue for Collins, though, as he’s also averaged 5.2 walks per nine frames at the big league level. That number is skewed to an extent by a rookie campaign in which he averaged 6.5 free passes per nine, but even in Collins’ most effective seasons, he was averaging well north of four walks per nine innings pitched.
Opposing lefties have batted .224/.328/.347 in 498 trips to the plate against Collins in his big league career, while right-handers have hit him at a .219/.341/.362 clip. His time in the Kansas City bullpen and on the Royals’ 60-day DL has left him with five-plus years of service, so Collins will qualify as a free agent if he proves capable of sticking in the Nationals’ bullpen through season’s end. He opened the season with 17 1/3 innings of 3.63 ERA ball and a 20-to-9 K/BB ratio in Syracuse.