- The Washington Times - Friday, September 2, 2016

Most days during this season, Nationals manager Dusty Baker was asked the same question: How is your bullpen?

Of late, the answer has not been one filled with optimism or pleasure. The Nationals’ bullpen was solidified at the back end by the acquisition of closer Mark Melancon. But, it was the innings in between the Nationals were trying to fight through with overworked and sometimes unsuccessful middle relief.

Friday, the Nationals announced they have added seven players to the active roster, five of which are pitchers.

Joining the bullpen are left-handers Matt Grace and Sean Burnett, plus right-handers Trevor Gott and Rafael Martin. Burnett had been pitching well for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, posting a 2.28 ERA. He has made 370 major-league appearances. His arrival will help the troubled left-handed portion of the bullpen.

Gott was one of the final cuts in spring training after being acquired in an offseason trade for Yunel Escobar. He did not pitch well with Syracuse, finishing with a 4.57 ERA. He was much more successful last season in the major leagues when pitching for the Anaheim Angels, when he had a 3.02 ERA.

Also among the callups is veteran starter Mat Latos. Latos put together a 1.29 ERA in six minor league starts. The best seasons of his career were in Cincinnati when he played for Baker from 2012-13. Latos was released earlier this season by the Chicago White Sox after 11 starts.

Outfielder Brian Goodwin and catcher Pedro Severino also rejoined the team.

Outfielder Matt den Dekker was designated for assignment. Starting pitcher Joe Ross was added to the 60-day disabled list in a procedural move. Ross is expected back on the roster soon. 

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