By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals have officially released bullpen reliever Jonathan Papelbon. In the process, the Nats opened up their remaining roster spot for Reynaldo Lopez, who will start tonight against the Atlanta Braves on Star Wars Night from Nats Park.

Through 59 games in Washington, Papelbon posted a 3.84 ERA and blew five saves, three this season. The woes prompted the Nats to upgrade their bullpen with the addition of Mark Melancon from the Pirates. This news came after Papelbon requested to be released from the Nationals.

Since Melancon joined the team, Papelbon only appeared two games. Both of those games were blowout wins.

For many Nationals fans, this was a long time coming. A lot of controversy was surrounded when they acquired him last July. It picked up after he choked teammate Bryce Harper in late-September, earning him the nickname “The DC Strangler”.



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