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Where Doug Slaten fits in

The addition of Doug Slaten gives the Nationals some new options in their bullpen. A second left-handed pitcher allows Manager Jim Riggleman the freedom to use Sean Burnett as a seventh-inning set-up man. Riggleman could not previously commit Burnett to the seventh because Burnett may have been needed situationally against a left-handed hitter.

Slaten could also serve as a semi-long reliever. He pitched 17 innings in 11 appearances with Class AAA Syracuse, meaning he's stretched out sufficiently to pitch two or more innings. In his major league career, lefties have hit .261 against Slaten, and righties have hit .278. As of now, the Nationals aren't sure how they'll use Slaten.

"We'll just have to see how it evolves," Riggleman said. "He can fill a couple holes for us."

The Nationals can only hope Slaten will be as effective here as he was with Syracuse. Slaten did not allow an earned run in 17 innings, walking one and allowing 12 hits while striking out 17.

"He's been outstanding down in Triple A," General Manager Mike Rizzo said. "He earned his way up here. We try to reward success down there, and certainly he's pitched well."

Slaten credited a consistent, aggressive approach for his recent success.He also made a slight tweak to his delivery, getting more extension before his release. "I'm throwing the same pitches I always have," Slaten said. "Just a little more extension, and just trying to go right at them."

Slaten has some familiarity with Rizzo. As scouting director of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Rizzo drafted Slaten in 17th round of the 2000 draft.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

Slaten won't be as good as he seemed in SYR, but if he can maintain his career BAA for both LH & RH hitters, he'll add value to the bullpen.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised Slaten was as dominant as he was versus everyone (righties as well) in Syracuse.

At a minimum we needed the arm with no days off until after the road trip, and I thought Slaten was the best choice.

Interesting to see if Slaten gets a crack at the seventh or he is used purely as a specialist.

I thought Riggleman made one of his few bad moves of the season yesterday pulling Batista when he was cruising.

Posted by: CJArlington | May 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

CJA:

Yeah, I thought he over-managed the bullpen a little yesterday as well. But it ended with a 'curly W in the books', so I'm happy.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

We want Josh Wilkie!

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | May 9, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

letting capps pitch two innings is my biggest beef thus far, also didn't like putting clip in to face heyward but i wouldnt have liked anyone facing heyward, I still think rigs pulled olsen for the wrong reason, confidence booster, he didnt want to see olsen give up that hit so he put clip in to do it, either way respectability is sweet

Posted by: bford1kb | May 9, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

We need something there. Bruney is a total waste.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 10, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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