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Nats acquire Slaten off waivers

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The Nationals have claimed left-hander Doug Slaten off waivers from the Diamondbacks, adding the 29-year-old reliever to their roster.

Slaten was a key member of the Diamondbacks bullpen during their 2007 run to the NL West title, posting a 2.72 WEA in 61 appearances. But he had knee surgery after that season and hasn’t rediscovered that form since. He spent the majority of this season at Class AAA Reno and made only 11 appearances in the majors, posting a 7.11 ERA in the process.

Reports are that Slaten is healthy, no knee issues anymore. He just hasn’t been as effective the last two seasons at getting batters out. Even at his best, he’s pretty much a strict LOOGY (left-handed, one-out guy) who has made 126 career big league appearances but pitched a total of only 80 2/3 innings.

So from the Nats’ standpoint, Sean Burnett would remain the clear-cut top lefty in the bullpen, more of a setup man who can retire both right-handed and left-handed hitters. Slaten, if he makes the team, would be used in more specific situations. Like to face Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the sixth inning of a close ballgame.

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Mark Zuckerman

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