Emotional Barrett ecstatic to make Nats' roster

Emotional Barrett ecstatic to make Nats' roster

JUPITER, Fla. -- Reliever Aaron Barrett was emotional when manager Matt Williams told him that he was going to make the Nationals' Opening Day roster.

Barrett was in the team's weight room when he was summoned to Williams' office. Barrett didn't know what to think. Did he make the team or was he going to start the season with Triple-A Syracuse?

"We had to make some really tough decisions, and you are one of those tough decisions," Williams ominously told Barrett.

Then there was a five-second pause on Williams' part before the skipper informed Barrett that he had made the team. Tears were shed on Barrett's part. He then hugged pitching coach Steve McCatty, who was in the room.

"I was just overwhelmed with joy," Barrett said. "There were a few tears shed, for sure. I was overwhelmed with joy. It was such an amazing experience. I just have to keep doing what I'm doing. This is just the beginning of the journey. I just have to keep it going."

Barrett then went in the dugout and called his wife, Kendyl, another emotional moment. Barrett said Kendyl, a wedding planner and an event coordinator for the restaurant "Bud and Alley's," was his rock and supporter while he was in the Minor Leagues.

Barrett was sensational on the mound this spring, allowing no runs in 10 2/3 innings while striking out eight batters. Barrett had his own philosophy when it came to pitching in the Major League games.

"I came into camp not trying to do too much. I was just trying to keep it simple, keep a simple mindset. It's still the same game," Barrett said. "The players are a lot better, obviously. For me, I was trying to keep my simple mindset -- one pitch at a time mentality, get ahead and attack hitters. That's the key to me."

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.