The bullpen shakeup Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta hinted at Tuesday night happened early Wednesday afternoon. The Nationals designated Kip Wells for assignment, calling up right-hander Tyler Clippard from Class AAA Syracuse to take his place.
Wells, one of the veterans signed in spring training in the Nationals' efforts to piece together a serviceable bullpen, had a 6.49 ERA in 23 appearances this year. He became the setup man in one of the team's many bullpen reconfigurations in late April, but his control deserted him in his last five weeks with Washington.
Wells had a 9.00 ERA during that 12-appearance stretch, allowing opponents to post a .273 average and .396 on-base percentage against him.
Clippard has flourished in his first year as a reliever, with a 0.92 ERA in 24 appearances at Syracuse, striking out 42 batters in 39 innings.
He was on the verge of being called up last weekend when Jesus Colome strained his right quadriceps muscle; Clippard had even taken a flight to the District, only to find out the Nationals wouldn't need him because Colome wouldn't have to go on the disabled list.
"It was good to know that I was kind of in line for this," Clippard said. "I'm glad to be here now. And all that stuff, whether it happened today or a month from now or whatever, it's just good to be here."
Center fielder Roger Bernadina had played just three games in the major leagues this season when he broke his right ankle making a catch April 18.
That injury cost Bernadina a chance to play regularly in the Nationals' outfield. Now, it's forcing him to patiently wait out the last few weeks until he can start working out again.
Bernadina still has a pair of screws in his ankle but got his walking boot removed last week and has been able to start doing exercises to stimulate the broken bone.
He won't have a timetable for when he can start more rigorous workouts until his next X-ray.
Day off for Dunn
Outfielder Adam Dunn was out of the lineup for just the second time this season after undergoing an MRI on his right wrist. The scan didn't show any problems, and manager Manny Acta said Dunn was available to play on Wednesday night.
Dunn said he felt some tingling sensations in his hand during his at-bat in the fourth inning Tuesday but had noticed something before that at-bat and wasn't sure of its cause or exactly when it started.
"It was more precautionary than anything," Dunn said. "I've been trying to describe it all day and I can't. Pain is like, I hit my bat against your shin. That's pain. ... It's like a tingling fingers kind of thing. I think last night just flared it up. It's not a recent deal."
Chico's bullpen session OK
Left-hander Matt Chico, on his way back from reconstructive elbow surgery, threw 48 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday without problems. He said he threw all four of his pitches - fastball, change-up, slider and curveball - and will start a rehab assignment at Class AA Harrisburg on Saturday.