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Reliever Barrett impressing Williams

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VIERA, Fla. -- With less than two weeks left in Spring Training, right-hander Aaron Barrett is still with the Nationals -- and for good reason. He has pitched eight scoreless innings and held opponents to a .148 batting average.

"Every situation we have put him in, he has performed and that's all you can ask," manager Matt Williams said. "I think he has been aggressive. I think he has commanded the strike zone. He has had quick innings and has worked well."

Barrett said he is keeping a simple approach. Last season, Barrett pitched for Double-A Harrisburg and had a 2.15 ERA with 26 saves.

"I'm just trying to keep a simple mindset, just using the one pitch at a time mentality. It's kind of the thing I've been focusing on the last couple of years," Barrett said. "Ultimately, for me, I control what I can control. Outside of that, whatever happens, happens. I'm just trying to keep that simple mindset and attacking hitters."

Williams is familiar with Barrett, having managed the righty in the Arizona Fall League in 2012. Williams noticed the reliever's fastball is much better than it was then.

"He has a great breaking ball, he is aggressive and commands the zone," the manager said. "So far, it's been really nice to see."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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