Rainey was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday. Rainey will take the bullpen spot which had belonged to Justin Miller (shoulder), who was placed on the injured list in a corresponding move. Rainey was hit hard in his big-league debut for the Reds last season, posting a 24.43 ERA and a 7:12 K:BB in seven innings.
Rainey was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Monday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. Rainey was acquired by the Nationals in exchange for Tanner Roark this offseason. Known as a hard-thrower who lacks control of his pitches, Rainey struggled this spring allowing seven earned runs and three walks in 4.2 innings of work.
Rainey allowed four runs on four hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning during Tuesday's spring loss to the Cardinals. Rainey was acquired from the Reds for Tanner Roark in December and his first unofficial outing in a Nationals uniform was forgettable. The hard-throwing right-hander has historically struggled with walks (6.2 BB/9 at Triple-A Louisville in 2018), but that was of no concern Tuesday as he fooled no one and threw 12 total pitches to the seven batters he faced.
Rainey was traded from the Reds to the Nationals on Wednesday in exchange for Tanner Roark. Rainey made his major-league debut in 2018, though he struggled in his small sample, allowing 19 runs while posting a 7:12 K:BB in seven innings of relief. The 25-year-old fared much better in his first taste of Triple-A, notching a 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 65:35 K:BB across 51 innings with Louisville. Rainey has the makings of a future high-leverage arm with a fastball that can touch triple digits, but he'll need to improve his control if he's to reach that ceiling.
Rainey was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Friday. Rainey made a pair of appearances during his latest stint with the Reds, giving up an incredible 10 runs in a total of just one inning. His season ERA now sits at 24.43 through seven innings. He's given much more reason for optimism at the Triple-A level, though, tossing 28.2 innings with a 1.57 ERA, but even there, his walk rate sits at an untenable 18.3 percent. Austin Brice was recalled in a corresponding move.