On Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals won in the biggest blowout in Major League Baseball since 2007 when the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers 30-3, when the Nats won 25-4.
The Nationals won 25-4 on Tuesday night but it was not without fireworks late. Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley allowed a 2-run home run to Austin Jackson to make it 25-4. When he gave it up, he slammed his glove down in disgust and he glared into the dugout. Understandably, most people with eyes interpreted that as a body language sign to Nationals manager Dave Martinez saying “Why am I in this game?”. After the game, he admitted that he “acted like a baby” but he said that he was upset with the umpires.
Whether that’s the case or not, the Nationals apparently decided that they weren’t going to put up with it and they decided this morning to, surprisingly, designate Kelley for assignment. Considering that he is one of the best relievers, if not the best, that wasn’t recently traded (e.g. Brandon Kintzler) or injured (e.g. closer Sean Doolittle).
Even with allowing three earned runs on Tuesday, Kelley has an ERA of 3.34 (it was 2.59 before) with an ERA+ of 128. He has an excellent WHIP of 0.959 as well as striking out 8.9 batters per nine innings compared to walking just 1.4.
We even mentioned Kelley as a possible guy that the Rockies should look at if the Nationals were thinking of selling in this article from last weekend.
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He could be another signing/potential signing for the Rockies of a low-risk, high-reward contract. He is signed through the end of the season with the Nationals so the Rockies could give him a contract for the pro-rated minimum salary in the majors for the rest of the season. They did that with Santiago Casilla and still may do that with their former closer Greg Holland (who’s DFA period is up on Friday). Kelley will most likely decline his minor league assignment with the Nationals in seven days when his DFA period is up and, thereafter, he would be fair game because he would be a free agent.
If the Rockies were to sign Kelley and Holland, their bullpen could include some of these relievers who, when they live up to their potential, could be the best bullpen in baseball:
Obviously, many of them have not shown their potential this year and some have been injured as well but if the Rockies were to get six or seven of these guys pitching well for September (plus a long reliever), the Rockies could turn their weakness into a strength.