ATLANTA -Dusty Baker called Shawn Kelley into the visiting manager’s office at SunTrust Park on Wednesday afternoon to deliver the news with a clear message: He was replacing Blake Treinen as the Washington Nationals‘ new closer, but the move didn’t change the need for consistent open dialogue between he and the coaching staff.
“He just said, ‘Moving forward, you’re going to be the closer, but you still got to be honest with us about your arm and how you feel and we’re still going to be cautious about your pitches,’” Kelley recalled. “‘We’re not going to just run you out there just because you’re the closer.’”
A few minutes later, Baker announced Kelley and Koda Glover will share the closing duties, but that split isn’t expected to be even. Glover wasn’t summoned to Baker’s office to hear he had been promoted. Kelley is the Nationals’ closer whenever his right elbow, which has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, permits and he insists it will be nearly as often as the typical closer. Kelley was available Thursday against the Braves and allowed a couple baserunners, but pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save this season, the 13th of his career, and his first since being named closer in Washington’s 3-2 win.
“It’s not some big thing where this guy can only pitch like once a week or …
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