Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line 2015 Closer Updated
WAS Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Rafael Soriano 6/24/14

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Previous updates:

July 16, 2014
Washington Nationals – Rafael Soriano will continue to lead the most stable bullpen hierarchy in baseball — except for a few weeks when Drew Storen went to the minors last summer, they’ve had the same three guys in the top three spots since Opening Day 2013. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 24, 2014
Washington Nationals – Yes, it’s actually a Nats update! As predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Tyler Clippard picked up his first save of the season with Rafael Soriano having pitched in three straight contests.

Hierarchy remains: Soriano | Clippard | Storen.

May 8, 2014
Washington Nationals – With another scoreless inning tonight, Rafael Soriano extended his streak to 25 straight games and innings. The last time he gave up an earned run — August 23, 2013 — was also the last time we had a legitimate Nats bullpen update. See you next year, Raf.

Hierarchy remains: Soriano | Clippard | Storen.

March 13, 2014
Washington Nationals – We just don’t trust Rafael Soriano, who has been getting shelled this spring — but I guess we trust the guys ranked below him even less. #13 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 11, 2014
Washington Nationals - The Nats enjoy the rare luxury of bringing back every member of an unchanged hierarchy. Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Rafael Soriano; Set-up — Tyler Clippard; 2nd in line — Drew Storen.

August 23, 2013
Washington Nationals – Drew Storen picked up an extra inning save on Thursday night.  Rafael Soriano and Tyler Clippard had already pitched.  No hierarchy change.

August 18, 2013
Washington Nationals – After Rafael Soriano blew his second save in two days, starter Dan Haren wound up collecting his first career save in the 15th inning, earning the game ball for his trouble. Also for the second straight game, Craig Stammen was held back and used in a longer relief role, while Drew Storen again looked very impressive in set-up, striking out the side in the seventh inning. Hierarchy change: Drew Storen to 2nd in line, replacing Craig Stammen.

July 27, 2013
Washington Nationals – The Nationals sent Drew Storen down to Triple-A after he allowed a three run homerun in the first game of the doubleheader last night.  Craig Stammen should see more time in the late innings with Storen gone. Hierarchy change: Craig Stammen to 2nd in line, replacing Drew Storen.

July 18, 2013
Washington Nationals – The Nats are set in the bullpen and might add some depth at starting pitcher. Drew Storen might be an attractive option for a team in need of a closer. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 5, 2013
Washington Nationals – Last week, on a night when Rafael Soriano was unavailable, Drew Storen got the save chance over Tyler Clippard, which surprised us, since Storen has generally been the 7th-inning guy for Washington this year, and he hasn’t been particularly good at it.  On Thursday, Storen continued being not particularly good at pitching the 7th, giving up three runs on two home runs, which raised his ERA to 5.40.  A string of good outings might cause Washington to return to their gameplan from last week, whereby Storen jumps ahead of Clippard on nights when Soriano is unavailable, but after last night, we don’t see Storen getting save chances until he straightens himself out.  Hierarchy change: Tyler Clippard to Set-up, Drew Storen to 2nd in line. 

June 29, 2013
Washington Nationals – Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless 8th in a tie game last night.  That left Drew Storen to get the save when the Nats took the lead in the top of the 9th.  Clippard has been pitching in the set-up role ahead of Soriano most of the year, and it looks like the Nats like him so much in the 8th inning role they will continue to use him there even on nights when Soriano is unavailable.  Drew Storen will likely continue to see the save opportunities when Soriano is given a night off .  Hierarchy change: Drew Storen to Set-up, Tyler Clippard to 2nd in line.

May 18, 2013
Washington Nationals – Drew Storen picked up an extra-inning save last night.  Rafael Soriano gave up 2 unearned runs in the 9th for the blown save and Tyler Clippard had already appeared in the game. No hierarchy change.

May 9, 2013
Washington Nationals – Tyler Clippard picked up an 8th-inning hold ahead of Rafael Soriano, marking the 4th consecutive time he’s been used in this fashion.  He seems to have wrested the primary set-up job away from a struggling Drew Storen, and will likely be the first choice for vulture saves on nights when Rafael Soriano is unavailable.  Hierarchy change: Tyler Clippard to Set-up, Drew Storen to 2nd in line.

February 24, 2013
Washington Nationals – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Rafael Soriano, Set-up- Drew Storen, 2nd in line- Tyler Clippard.

September 30, 2012
Washington Nationals – Craig Stammen picked up an extra-inning save on Saturday. Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Sean Burnett had already appeared in the game. No hierarchy change.

September 25, 2012
Washington Nationals – In Monday’s 10-run blowout, the Nats went to Tyler Clippard in the 8th inning and Drew Storen in the 9th. After the game, Davey Johnson said that Storen is now more likely to be used in the 9th, although the two will both close, depending on matchups. “The guy that goes out there is the closer that day,” Johnson told the Washington Post. “How’s that?” Hierarchy change: Drew Storen to Closer, Tyler Clippard to Set-up.

September 22, 2012
Washington Nationals – Tyler Clippard blew the save last night and has now allowed runs in 5 of his past 8 outings. Manager Davey Johnson has said that he will split the closer role between Clippard and Drew Storen the rest of the season. “I have confidence in both of them closing,” Johnson said. Tyler Clippard to Hot Seat.

September 21, 2012
Washington Nationals – After pitching in both ends of Wednesday’s doubleheader, Tyler Clippard was rested on Thursday in favor of Drew Storen. No hierarchy change.

September 13, 2012
Washington Nationals – Drew Storen nabbed his second save last night, as we predicted, while Tyler Clippard enjoyed a restful evening. No hierarchy change.

August 6, 2012
Washington Nationals – As expected, Tyler Clippard had the day off on Sunday, but it was Drew Storen who got the save chance in his place, while Sean Burnett pitched the 8th. Burnett has been excellent all season, but the Nats may be trying to use Storen similarly to how the Rangers are using Alexi Ogando– having him get tough outs whenever necessary and fill in for the closer on occasion, while leaving their 8th inning role consistent. As a result, Storen is probably now the next-best bet for saves in Washington. Hierarchy change: Drew Storen to Set-up, Sean Burnett to 2nd in line.

July 21, 2012
Washington Nationals – Tyler Clippard blew the save last night, and has now allowed 7 ERs in his last 3 outings, a span that includes two blown saves. Sean Burnett and Drew Storen also had rough nights, but Clippard’s recent stretch is worrying, and the Nats have plenty of live arms in their bullpen who could be inserted into the closer role if he continues to struggle. Tyler Clippard to Hot Seat.

July 20, 2012
Washington Nationals – Drew Storen returned from the disabled list on Thursday, pitching a clean 9th inning in a game the Nationals were losing. He immediately factors back in to the Nats’ late-inning plans, though he’s a longshot to win his closer job back this season. Hierarchy change: Drew Storen to 2nd in line, replacing Henry Rodriguez.

July 12, 2012
Washington NationalsEven without Drew Storen– who is expected back in a few weeks– the first place Nats have one of the strongest bullpens in the NL. They’re unlikely to make any moves that would affect their hierarchy. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 6, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez was recently activated from the DL and pitched the 8th in a close game last night. He has 9 saves from earlier in the season and it looks like the Nationals would prefer to use Craig Stammen in situations that call for multiple innings.. Hierarchy change: Henry Rodriguez to 2nd in line, replacing Craig Stammen.

June 18, 2012
Washington Nationals – Brad Lidge had struggled since returning from the DL, and on Sunday, the Nats designated him for assignment. He’ll probably look to catch on elsewhere, as his career in Washington is likely over. Hierarchy change: Craig Stammen to 2nd in line, replacing Brad Lidge.

June 10, 2012
Washington Nationals – After Brad Lidge struggled Friday in his first outing since returning from the DL, Washington went to Sean Burnett in the 8th inning on Saturday. Burnett (0.95 ERA) pitched another clean inning and continues to have a stellar season. Hierarchy change: Sean Burnett to Set-up, Brad Lidge to 2nd in line.

June 8, 2012
Washington Nationals – Brad Lidge returned from the disabled list yesterday. While he won’t return to the shared closer role he held earlier this year, he’ll likely be one of the first guys that Davey Johnson looks to if Tyler Clippard falters. Hierarchy change: Brad Lidge to Set-up, Sean Burnett to 2nd in line.

June 3, 2012
Washington Nationals – The Nationals’ closer by committee– if there ever was one– appears to be finished. Tyler Clippard has gotten all four save opportunities since Henry Rodriguez was demoted, and he’s converted all four. During that span, Sean Burnett and Craig Stammen have been used exclusively as set-up men. No hierarchy change.

May 26, 2012
Washington Nationals – The Nationals have had two save opportunities since demoting Henry Rodriguez, and both have gone to Tyler Clippard. When announcing Rodriguez’s demotion and the team’s subsequent plans for a closer-by-committee, Davey Johnson specifically said that Tyler Clippard would remain in a high-leverage set-up role. But that same day, Clippard expressed a strong desire for the job, and Johnson, thought of by many as the ultimate player’s coach, may have been moved by the young righty’s words. Hierarchy change: Tyler Clippard to Closer, Sean Burnett to Set-up.

May 23, 2012
Washington Nationals – Davey Johnson said before Tuesday’s game that he was moving Henry Rodriguez to a “less demanding” role, and that he’d use a closer-by-committee for the 9th inning. Johnson said he was going to keep Tyler Clippard as his high-leverage set-up guy, but Johnson ended up giving the first save opportunity to the righty, who expressed a strong desire to close before the game. “I want it bad,” he said. With two saves in the past week and a little experience in the role last year, Sean Burnett (0.71 ERA) still has the inside track to get the most opportunities, and Craig Stammen could also in the mix. But the next save opportunity will be key; if Clippard is the 9th-inning man again, then it’s probable that Johnson has taken his words to heart, and the long-time set-up man could be the new closer going forward. Hierarchy change: Sean Burnett to Closer, Tyler Clippard to Set-up, Craig Stammen to 2nd in line.

May 22, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez had to be bailed out again on Monday, as Sean Burnett came in for the 9th inning and got the final two outs for the save. The young righty, already on the Hot Seat, may be placed in to a committee, or worse. ”I’m going to sleep on it, but I’m looking at other alternatives,” Davey Johnson told the Washington Post. Johnson mentioned a possible closer-by-committee, which would likely involve Rodriguez, Burnett and Tyler Clippard. No hierarchy change.

May 15, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez walked three men in the 9th on Monday before being replaced by Sean Burnett, who got the save. Davey Johnson told the Washington Post that he still had a lot of confidence in Rodriguez, though the closer remains firmly on the Hot Seat. Burnett’s usage, meanwhile, has been a bit odd. He’s been used sparingly, but has a 0.90 ERA and could be a candidate for saves down the line should Rodriguez continue to falter. Hierarchy change: Sean Burnett to 2nd in line, replacing Ryan Mattheus.

May 14, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez blew his third save of the season in dramatic fashion on Sunday, allowing a walk-off grand slam to Joey Votto. His ERA is now 4.70. Henry Rodriguez to Hot Seat.

May 11, 2012
Washington Nationals – Ryan Mattheus pitched the 7th inning on Thursday ahead of Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez and picked up his 5th hold of the season. Hierarchy change: Ryan Mattheus to 2nd in line, replacing Sean Burnett.

April 28, 2012
Washington Nationals – Brad Lidge was placed on the disabled list. Tyler Clippard will move into the set-up spot with Sean Burnett moving to second in line. Hierarchy change: Brad Lidge to DL, Tyler Clippard to set-up, Sean Burnett to 2nd in line.

April 26, 2012
Washington Nationals – Tom Gorzelanny got the save last night but it was of the three inning variety as the Nationals won by 5. No hierarchy change.

April 21, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez got another save on Friday, and now has four this season to Brad Lidge’s two. Lidge has also been suffering from vertigo which has limited his availability in recent days, and while Davey Johnson continues to maintain that he’ll use both pitchers in the 9th inning, Rodriguez is now the preferable guy to own, if you only have room for one. Hierarchy change: Henry Rodriguez to Closer, Brad Lidge to Set-up.

April 19, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez got the save on Wednesday after Brad Lidge logged the Tuesday save. It’s Lidge’s turn again in the Nats’ strict back-and-forth platoon. No hierarchy change.

April 17, 2012
Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez got the save for the Nationals on Monday. As previously noted, Davey Johnson is using a strict, back-and-forth platoon with Rodriguez and Brad Lidge. Lidge will get the next opportunity. No hierarchy change.

April 13, 2012
Washington Nationals- Drew Storen underwent surgery earlier this week and will be out until the All Star break, with Davey Johnson indicating that he would continue to alternate between Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez. Lidge, however, blew the save Thursday; another bad outing for him could mean Rodriguez wins the full-time job. No hierarchy change.

April 10, 2012
Washington Nationals- Henry Rodriguez took the loss Monday, allowing a walk-off single in a tie game, but the real news came off the field, as Drew Storen was sent to Dr. James Andrews for further evaluation on his elbow. Manager Davey Johnson said the outlook isn’t good, but Storen’s season appears to be in jeopardy. No hierarchy change.

April 8, 2012
Washington Nationals- Davey Johnson has said that he would alternate between Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge for save opportunities, and he stayed true to his word, calling on Rodriguez to pitch the 9th yesterday. He closed the game out successfully, and the next opportunity should go back to Lidge. No hierarchy change.

April 4, 2012
Washington Nationals- The job is his when he returns, but Drew Storen will miss a few games early this season. Surprisingly, manager Davey Johnson has said that Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez will close in his place. Tyler Clippard is clearly the Nats’ second-best bullpen arm, but Johnson said he’s too valuable in his 8th inning role. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Brad Lidge, Set-up- Henry Rodriguez, 2nd in line- Tyler Clippard. Lidge begins the season on the Hot Seat.

Sept. 27, 2011
Washington Nationals- Both Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard had the night off, having pitched the previous two days, so Henry Rodriguez got the call for the save, his second this week. Rodriguez has surpassed Sean Burnett on the Nats depth chart, as Burnett was only used for 1 hitter in the 7th. Hierarchy change: Henry Rodriguez to 2nd in line, replacing Sean Burnett.

Sept. 22, 2011
Washington Nationals- Drew Storen picked up saves in both halves of Tuesday’s doubleheader, so he got the night off on Wednesday and Henry Rodriguez earned the save against the Phillies. No hierarchy change.

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