Osage City’s Blake Treinen named Nationals 2017 closer

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Blake Treinen delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday, June 11, 2016, in Washington. The Nationals won 8-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Blake Treinen will start the season as the closer for the Washington Nationals.

The 28-year-old Treinen, a right-hander from Osage City, Kansas, has one big league save.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker announced the decision Thursday, before Washington’s exhibition game at the Boston Red Sox.

Treinen’s powerful sinker has become his key to success after being converted from a starter to a reliever. He finished last season, his third in the majors, with a 2.28 ERA and and 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

After the Nationals lost closer Mark Melancon to the San Francisco Giants in free agency, Treinen competed for the ninth-inning job in spring training with Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Washington begins the regular season Monday at home against the Miami Marlins.

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