The Nationals are in settlement with veteran reliever Richard Bleier on a minor league contract, stories Andrew Golden of the Washington Publish (X link). It appears possible the left-hander will get a glance as a non-roster participant in large league Spring Coaching.
Bleier, 37 subsequent month, is seeking to get to the majors for a ninth straight yr. Regardless of nicely below-average velocity, he has managed a sub-3.00 ERA in 5 of his eight MLB campaigns. Bleier has by no means missed many bats, however he induces loads of ground-balls behind his higher 80s sinker.
As just lately as 2022, that translated to strong outcomes. Bleier labored to a 3.55 ERA behind a 52.5% grounder share over 50 2/3 innings with the Marlins two years in the past. The Pink Sox acquired him in a reliever swap sending righty Matt Barnes to Miami final offseason, however Bleier had arguably the worst yr of his profession in Boston.
In 30 2/3 frames throughout 27 appearances, the Florida Gulf Coast product allowed 5.28 earned runs per 9. His 55.2% ground-ball price was nonetheless nicely increased than common, however opponents did an uncharacteristic quantity of harm after they did handle to get the ball within the air. Bleier surrendered 5 homers (1.47 per 9 innings), the primary time in his profession he allowed greater than a homer over each 9 frames. With out his typical stage of weak contact, Bleier’s subpar 12.1% strikeout price turned a extra vital downside.
Boston designated him for task at the start of August. He cleared waivers and was launched, setting the stage for a minor league contract with the Cubs. Bleier pitched 5 instances for Chicago’s Triple-A group, permitting six runs with 5 walks and a pair of strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. That wasn’t sufficient for a return to the majors.
Washington’s bullpen skews closely to the correct facet. The Nats have Kyle Finnegan, Hunter Harvey, Jordan Weems, Tanner Rainey and offseason pickup Dylan Floro locked into bullpen roles. All these gamers throw right-handed. Lefty choices embrace Robert Garcia, José A. Ferrer and fellow non-roster participant Joe La Sorsa, all of whom nonetheless have minor league choices remaining.