Nationals release struggling reliever Trevor Rosenthal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals finally ran out of patience waiting for Trevor Rosenthal to throw strikes following his return from Tommy John surgery.

Rosenthal was released by the Nationals on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the 29-year-old reliever walked all three batters he faced in a 13-9 loss to Atlanta.

After undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2017, Rosenthal sat out last season before signing as a free agent with Washington in November. The Nationals were hopeful he would pitch as he did in 2014 and 2015 with St. Louis, when he totaled 93 saves.

Instead, Rosenthal went 0-1 with an unsightly 22.74 ERA. He issued 15 walks and allowed 16 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

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“He’s got great stuff,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He just couldn’t find the strike zone.”

Rosenthal retired the only batter he faced Friday night before bottoming out Saturday night.

“I was very hopeful he had turned a corner,” Martinez said. “We’re up four runs (on Saturday), we’re down a couple guys, and to me, that was his spot. It just didn’t work out.”

The third-place Nationals are trying to make a run in the NL East, and couldn’t afford to wait for Rosenthal to return to form.

“Trevor’s an unbelievable person,” Martinez said. “At this point in time, he put the work in, we put the work in trying to get him right, and it just didn’t work out. It was time for us to move on.”

Rosenthal’s release coincided with the recall of right-hander Austin Voth from Double-A Harrisburg. Voth was slated to start Sunday against first-place Atlanta in the finale of a three-game set.

Washington also recalled righty Kyle McGowin from Triple-A Fresno and optioned right-hander Joe Ross to the same minor league club.

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