Bill Ladson, of MLB.com, reports the Washington Nationals have decided to use a bullpen by committee for the time being, which means relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan has been relieved of the closer duties. Relief pitcher Garrett Mock will also no longer serve as the eighth-inning setup man. Relief pitchers Julian Tavarez and Kip Wells are the other late-inning options until relief pitcher Joe Beimel (hip) returns from the disabled list.
The Nationals' bullpen situation is a mess. Hanrahan's latest meltdown against the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, April 27, spurred manager Manny Acta to shake up the pen. Hanrahan allowed a game-winning grand slam in just one-third of an inning Monday.
On the season, Hanrahan has two saves and three blown saves while posting an ERA of 8.64 in 8 1/3 innings pitched.
Mock has not fared much better, tallying a 9.82 ERA with two strikeouts and two walks in 3 2/3 innings as the setup man.
The move to a bullpen-by-committee approach is a nightmare for owners of Hanrahan. He essentially loses all of his already low fantasy value. Fantasy players should cut ties with Hanrahan.
With the shakeup to the Nats' bullpen, Tavarez, Wells and Beimel will all see increased opportunities in the late innings. Beimel is the most likely option to become the closer when he returns from the disabled list. Tavarez and Wells will not have much fantasy value after that happens, but either could be rented until then since both will probably see some chances.Tavarez would be the better pickup if you have the choice because Wells was recently recalled and Tavarez has been the better strikeout pitcher in recent years.
However, Beimel could become worthy of a pickup off the waiver wire if he becomes the new closer in the nation's capital. If you have a DL spot, you can stash him until he comes back.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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