There’s not much about the Nationals’ 6-3 loss to the Orioles that will distinguish it from the scores of other losses they’ve had this season. Shairon Martis gave up a couple homers after picking around the plate a little too much, the Nationals grounded into two double plays with the bases loaded, and that was basically it.
The more interesting news came after the game, when manager Manny Acta said the Nationals will move starter Craig Stammen to the bullpen when Scott Olsen returns from the disabled list (presumably on Monday).
Stammen or Ross Detwiler was likely to get bumped from the rotation with Olsen returning, though Class AAA Syracuse seemed like the more likely destination for either one of them. Stammen, who started last season in the bullpen at Class A Potomac, didn’t seem thrilled about the move, but said all the right things.
“I’m glad to still be here, I guess,” Stammen said. “Honestly, I want to stick around as a starter. But Scott’s been doing this for a while, and he deserves his spot back. But I’m excited. I’ve been in the bullpen before, in college and a little bit in the minor leagues. It’ll be fun.”
Now the question becomes: What’s the next roster move? I’d assume this means either Joel Hanrahan or Jesus Colome will be designated for assignment (I’d guess it’s the latter). The Nationals don’t want to part with Hanrahan because they still see potential in his stuff and fear a 27-year-old who throws in the mid-90s wouldn’t make it through waivers. But there’s nobody in the Nationals’ bullpen with options left (other than Stammen, obviously).
These are the tough decisions you face when you’re trying to build a bullpen out of fringe veterans.