Hopefully you have enjoyed this series as much as I have. There is something about the bond between fans who remember these obscure players. Our next player is no exception to that rule. Today's St. Patty's Day edition comes from Manny Acta's first year as Nats manager, 2007.
The original goggles... Winston Abreu!
Signed to a minor league contract in the off-season, Abreu was sent to AAA Columbus at the start of the season. While with the Clippers, he put up good enough numbers to warrant a call-up to the big club. His debut came on May 8th, and didn't go very well as he gave up a homer to JJ Hardy in his 2/3 of an inning. He took it in stride and built on it.
His next 11 appearances went extremely well as the righty struck out 12 in 11 innings of work, giving up just 2 runs. By May 26th Abreu had a 2.31 ERA, and the Nats thought that they had found lightning in a bottle. And here is where the wheels came off.
Winston then went into a slump of epic proportions, and his next 8 appearances were a struggle. From May 29th to June 19th here are his earned runs allowed: 4, 0, 3, 1, 1, 2, 1, and 2. These earned runs were given up in just 12.1 innings, calculating out to an ERA of 10.41 in that stretch; ouch. He was DFA'ed the next day (June 20).
After the minor league season ended, it was time for September call-ups and Winston Abreu was welcomed back to the Nats with open arms. He would go on to pitch in 7 more games, 6.1 innings total. He did enough not to be terrible, but he didn't do enough to win a job for the next year as here is the end of his story with the Nats.
Abreu's totals - 26 G. 30.1 IP. 5.93 ERA. 5.42 FIP. 1.52 WHIP. 9 BB. 26 K. 7 HR. -0.e WAR
Abreu paved the way for people like Tyler Clippard, those bespectacled folk who yearn to pitch in the bullpen of a sub-.500 team. We wish him the best and congratulate him on this tremendous, trailblazing accomplishment.