From the Minor League Ball mailbag:
“Big fan of Koda Glover going back to his Ok State days, was disappointed to see him not get closer job with Nats. I bet that changes soon. Your thoughts?”——E.G, Stroud, Oklahoma
Despite an impressive spring (13/2 K/BB in 11.1 innings), Glover lost out to Blake Treinen for the Nationals closer job. Whether Koda gets another chance soon will depend on what Treinen does, but I don’t doubt that he is capable of holding the job if given the opportunity. According to the Washington Post the Nationals agree and view Glover as a closer down the line, just not right now.
He certainly profiles for the job. Glover ranked fifth on the Minor League Ball 2017 Washington Nationals Top 20 prospects list with the following comment:
5) Koda Glover, RHP, Grade B-: Age 23, eighth round pick in 2015 from Oklahoma State; reached majors extremely quickly; posted 2.25 ERA in 56 innings, 66/14 K/BB over three levels, then 5.03, 16/7 K/BB in 20 MLB innings; classic bullpen stuff in mid-90s with hard slider, control was very sharp in the minors, has a chance to close games and at worst case a strong middle man. ETA 2017.
As noted he continued to post excellent K/BB and K/IP ratios in spring training. However, Treinen is a veteran with a proven track record and threw well this spring himself (11/2 K/BB in 5.2 shutout innings). I think he was the logical choice, which moves Glover to short/middle relief.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It gives Glover more time to acclimate to the majors. If he avoids health problems and continues to throw strikes with his overpowering stuff, Glover’s chance to close will come eventually, even if it doesn’t happen this year.
That may be frustrating for his fantasy owners and his fans in Stroud and Stillwater, but it is logical for the Nationals.