The Brian Broderick experiment ended Saturday. After 11 ineffective outings, the Nationals designated the Rule 5 pick for assignment and summoned right-hander Cole Kimball from Triple-A Syracuse.
Before the Nationals acquired Broderick from the St. Louis organization in December, 69 of his 89 career appearances came as a starter. But the Nationals tried to use the right-hander as the long man out of the bullpen.
That led to 16 hits and nine runs allowed in 12.1 innings. Add the unexpected performance of the Nationals’ rotation — 22 quality starts in 38 games — and there weren’t many opportunities for Broderick.
“His repertoire is that of a starter,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “He’s never pitched out of the bullpen. It was a tough situation for him to stay on the club for that reason. He was unfamiliar with the role and how to prepare and how to bounce back.”
Added manager Jim Riggleman: “It’s probably not a great role for him.”
The Nationals have 10 days to trade, waive or release Broderick. To keep Broderick in the organization, he would first have to clear waivers, then be offered back to St. Louis for $25,000, half the $50,000 draft fee.
Kimball adds another power arm to the bullpen. As the Syracuse closer, he didn’t allow a run in 13.2 innings this season and held opponents to a .163 average.
Riggleman plans to use Kimball in the fifth or sixth inning, if needed, for his first couple of appearances before calling on him in late innings.
“Kimball has thrown too well to keep him down in Triple A,” Rizzo said.
This season’s dominance isn’t new for Kimball. In the Arizona Fall League last year, he struck out 15 and compiled a .075 earned-run average over 12 innings.