The Washington Nationals today activated left-handed reliever Matt Thornton and optioned right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Thornton, who was acquired on a waiver claim from the New York Yankees on Tuesday, joins the Nationals after going 0-3 with 12 holds and a 2.55 ERA (7 ER/24.2 IP) in 46 appearances in his lone season with the Yankees. In his 24.2 innings with New York (AL), Thornton did not allow a home run, walked just six and struck out 20 (or 7.3 per 9.0 innings).
In 11 big league seasons with the Mariners, White Sox, Red Sox and Yankees, Thornton is 32-45 with 182 holds, 23 saves and a 3.49 ERA in 652 games/one start. When facing left-handed batters, Thornton's career batting average against is .233 and his opponents' on-base percentage against is .297.
Thornton's 411 strikeouts the last seven seasons (2008 - present) are the most in baseball among left-handed relievers. He recorded at least 20 holds in five consecutive seasons (2008 - 12), including a career-high 26 for the White Sox in '12.
Treinen appeared in two games for the Nationals in his most recent call up, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing one earned run and striking out three. This season, Treinen is 1-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 Major League games (five starts).