Yesterday the Washington Nationals called up Fernando Rodney. Today they continued their commitment to building the best bullpen of 2011 by calling up Jonny Venters.
Venters signed a minor league deal with the Nats last month after he flamed out in nine ineffective appearances with the Braves. Since then he’s done alright, posting a 1.29 ERA over nine appearances in Double-A. How that translates to the bigs is an open question but (a) he walked six batters in seven innings in the minors; and (b) his post-multiple-surgeries ceiling suggests that, at best, he’ll be moderately useful in limited situations. Which is to say, sure, why not see if he’s got anything, but let’s not pretend he, or Rodney for that matter, represents the big bullpen fix the Nats need.
Still, it’s fun. It’s a reminder that, even if we’re in an alleged Golden Age of Bullpens,™ most teams are still spinning their wheels and farting around when it comes to relief pitchers.