Early on the 2017 season has established that the Washington Nationals are in desperate need for a bullpen makeover.
Through 37 games, and a 24-13 record, non-starters have accounted for seven of the teams 13 losses.
Of the remaining six losses given to the starters, one was behind the arm of Jeremy Guthrie who allowed 12 runs in only two outs of the first inning on April 8. Following the disastrous performance, Guthrie has since opted for free agency after the Nationals sent him down to a minor league assignment.
Essentially, the Nationals five starters have accounted for a record of 14-5 (A.J. Cole has also earned a win in his lone start).
From there, Washington has been in 19 save situations. Of those 19 situations, the bullpen was able to pull out 11 saves. That leaves eight blown saves for the bullpen, only a 58 percent success rate.
Fortunately for the Nationals, the bats rallied and prevented four of those games from becoming losses. Still, it remains a problem and it is one that the National have plenty of time to address.
Here is a look at the main bulk of the bullpen for the Nationals:
Enny Romero: 2-1, 17 games, 4.86 ERA, 16.2 IP, one save, two blown saves
Blake Treinen: 0-1, 17 games, 8.10 ERA, 16.2 IP, three saves, one blown save
Matt Albers: 2-0, 14 games, 0.61 ERA, 16.1 IP, two saves, one blown save
Joe Blanton: 0-2, 14 games, 9.49 ERA, 12.1 IP
Shawn Kelley: 3-1, 13 games, 7.15 ERA, 11.1 IP, three saves, two blown saves
Koda Glover: 0-1, 13 games, 3.38 ERA, 10.2 IP, two saves, one blown save
Oliver Perez: 0-0, 10 games, 4.32 ERA, 8.1 IP
Only one of the bullpen pitchers average a sub-3.00 ERA, which is difficult to do when you are only averaging one-to-two innings a game. As a whole, the bullpen has a 5.53 ERA on the season, third worst in the majors ahead of only San Diego (5.41) and Detroit (5.60).
As long as the rest of the NL East continues to struggle, there will be no issue with Washington making the postseason with the bats being able to carry them. To become championship contenders though, the backup pitchers need to figure it out. Dusty Baker will have chances to move guys around, like Albers, into a closer role. If not, soon it will become time for the front office to look elsewhere.
Reminder, the non-waiver trade deadline is July 31st.