Last night was interesting. After the early game everyone was feeling good that the Nats had won and then they split the back end of the double header and everyone went to bed angry. There is this idea that Mike Rizzo messed up when he constructed his bullpen, but this isn't the bullpen he constructed. Casey Janssen just returned from injury and has been good in all but one outing, but it's the one outing that means it was a failure of a deal. Blake Treinen has been better of late but it appears that no one cares about his good outings either or how when he started throwing the slider he got much better. Nope, Blake Treinen was bad in April and has struggled recently which means he's bad.
Treinen and Janssen would have been in the bullpen either way. The real issue with the Nats bullpen is that Craig Stammen was supposed to have a larger role this season. He had versatility to be a set-up man or pitch in lower leverage situations but his injury really hurt the Nats bullpen plans and then when Roark was moved back into the rotation that took another piece out of the bullpen. Roark just before being put back in the rotation was starting to see his role expanded and now the Nats have to rely on a bunch of rookies. This isn't by design.
The good thing about baseball is issues like this can be fixed. The Nationals will continue to throw rookies out there until one sticks. Sammy Solis is working back from injury and looked good when he was out there so the Nats may have something in him. A.J. Cole could be used as a reliever if the Nats can find a way to do it and not limit his innings too much or if they decide that too many starting pitchers have passed him on the depth chart and he best helps the Nationals as a reliever. Taylor Hill or Taylor Jordan could fill the same role when Strasburg or Fister return from injury, and then there are trades.
With trades in baseball nothing is going to happen until the trade deadline and it is far too early to really talk about it, but we know who the targets will be, but they'll also be the targets of other teams. The real key is finding someone that isn't a target of a lot of teams and getting him for cheap. Someone like Brett Cecil who pitched against the Nationals last night. Good relievers go unnoticed all the time and are always available in trade so instead of getting into a bidding war for Chapman, Clippard, or Paplebon the Nationals should go for a couple lesser known relievers the solidify the middle of the bullpen.