The Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher Cole Kimball from Class AAA Syracuse and designed right-hander Brian Broderick for assignment.
Kimball dazzled in the minors, yielding no runs with five saves in 13 2/3 innings with the Chiefs, and gives the Nationals another lively arm out of the bullpen. Kimball, 25, was among the more intriguing pitchers during spring training with a fastball that reached the upper 90s and the demeanor of a veteran despite his lack of experience.
Over the past two seasons, Kimball is 9-1 with 23 saves and a 1.85 ERA in 69 appearances with Syrcause, Class AA Harrisburg and Class A Potomac. He averaged 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings during that time.
“Kimball has thrown too well to keep down in Triple A,” Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said. “We felt that we needed another reliable power arm in the bullpen, and his stuff was good, his numbers were good, and his attitude was ready to be brought up to the big leagues.”
Broderick, meantime, never gained solid footing during his brief time in the majors as he labored with the move from starter to reliever. The Rule 5 draft pick from St. Louis allowed 16 hits in 12 1/3 innings with an ERA of 6.57 in 11 appearances.
In his most recent two games, Broderick surrendered five hits and two runs combined in two innings.
“I think Brian did fine. He threw the ball fine,” Manager Jim Riggleman said. “The long role in the bullpen is one that you really don’t want to have to be using a lot. That means your starters are coming out early, and the downside of that is your long man sometimes doesn’t get any work. That’s kind of where we were.
“Our starters really have done a good job going deep in the ballgame, so when Brian did get to pitch, it was quite often in situations where he hadn’t pitched in several days. Probably not a great role for him. He’s been a starter his whole minor league career. We made that Rule 5 draft, wanted to see if it would work out, and I think we were very impressed with what he did, but it just kind of ran its course in terms of how much we would be able to use him.”