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Nationals acquire Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Athletics


The Athletics dealt right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Sean Doolittle to the Nationals for right-hander Blake Treinen, minor league lefty Jesus Luzardo and infielder Sheldon Neuse, per a team announcement. The deal was first rumored to be in the works on Saturday and was confirmed by the clubs on Sunday.

Madson and Doolittle will help round out the Nationals’ bullpen, which suffered from a collective 5.34 ERA and -0.9 fWAR through the first half of the season. Madson, in particular, has pitched to a stellar 2.06 ERA, complementing his airtight run prevention with a 1.4 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 through 39 1/3 innings. Doolittle holds a more modest 3.38 ERA on the year, but his 0.8 BB/9 and 13.1 SO/9 have been the hallmarks of his six-year career to date.

In return, the A’s received right-handed reliever Blake Treinen, whose 5.73 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 have helped drag the Nationals’ bullpen to a league-worst ranking. Despite his struggles on the mound this year, Treinen is only one season removed from a sparkling career-best 2.28 ERA in 2016 and has been the model of consistency in each of his previous three campaigns with the Nationals.

Minor leaguers Sheldon Neuse and Jesus Luzardo also rounded out the deal on Oakland’s end. Neuse, 22, was drafted in the second round of the 2016 amateur draft and has split his 2017 season between third base and short in Single-A Hagerstown. He’s batting .291/.349/.469 with nine home runs and an .818 OPS through 321 PA in his first season in the South Atlantic League.

Left-hander Jesus Luzardo, 19, is just starting his first stint in pro ball. He was drafted out of Stoneman-Douglas High School in the third round of the 2016 draft, not three months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. He was assigned to the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2017 and is 1-0 through his first three starts in rookie ball, touting a 1.32 ERA and 9.9 SO/9 through 13 2/3 innings.

Nick Pivetta to rejoin Phillies’ rotation

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Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.

Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.

Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.