The Nationals acquired right-handed reliever Eric Fornataro on waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals, the team announced Monday afternoon.
Fornataro, 26, made his major league debut this season, appearing in eight games, seven of them during late April and early May. He posted a 4.66 ERA with three strikeouts, a walk and 11 hits in 9 2/3 innings. In 44 appearances at Class AAA Memphis this season, Fornataro recorded 15 saves with a 2.57 ERA and 5.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Fornataro thrives with a heavy fastball that produces few strikeouts but prevents home runs and incudes grounders in droves. In 187 2/3 innings since he became a full-time reliever in 2012, Fornataro has allowed nine homers. In the majors, his fastball averaged 93 miles per hour.
Fornataro gives the Nationals 40 players on their 40-man roster. They will soon need to make several decisions about players to leave off the roster or trade. Among the others, the Nationals must add prospects A.J. Cole, Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo and Matt Grace to their 40-man roster later this month or risk losing them in the Rule 5 draft in December.