Nationals add MacDougal to bullpen mix

Chicago White Sox Photo DayLast year Mike MacDougal was a welcomed face in Washington. After being being signed to a minor league deal by the Nationals he breathe fresh air into the bullpen.

Despite a 1.52 WHIP the right hander converted 20-of-21 save chances. All of that earned him a ticket out of town because the Nationals simply could not offer MacDougal arbitration because as we all know arbitration is far more profitable then being a free agent these days.

So MacDougal ended up signing a minor league deal with the Florida Marlins and didn’t exactly do much to suggest his 2009 wasn’t a fluke.

So you can kind of guess where this story returns. MacDougal is back in with the Nationals. He’s guaranteed nothing and even manager Jim Riggleman suggested that MacDougal wasn’t much of an option at this point relating his struggles with Florida.

Frankly it’s crazy how MacDougal has survived 9 seasons in the majors. He gets hit against well, his control is shaky and his strike out numbers aren’t exactly eye popping. A career WHIP of 1.52 but a career ERA of 4.09.

I guess if there is one saving grace for MacDougal it’s that he’s allowed just 21 homers in 312.2 career innings so he’s not exactly being giving up runs all at once.

Watching Mike MacDougal on the hill can be stressful at times but the truth is despite all the hits and walks the man does get out of it. He’s not likely to pick up many saves this season as the Nationals have Matt Capps and Brian Burney ahead of him. That’s a good thing.

He’s been signed to a minor league contract. That’s another good thing. The presence of Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett should create a nice buffer between MacDougal and the end of the game which of course is also another good thing.

While it seems like I’m ragging on MacDougal I think he could actually help the Nationals. He’s a major league arm, he’s better then some of the other options they have to fill out the pen and if push comes to shove and the game is on the line McDougal as the third or fourth option out of the pen isn’t as bad as some other teams third or fourth option.