Washington keeping tabs on well-rested 'pen

Washington keeping tabs on well-rested 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- After pitching a combined 11 innings in a four-game set against Kansas City, manager Ron Washington believes his bullpen is rested enough for the remainder of September.

One man that might be feeling a little taxed is right-hander Mike Adams, who pitched in three of those previous games.

Washington credited the Royals for the way they "grinded" at-bats, but said his use of Adams and other arms he's used more often would be dictated by how the game is going.

"If we're winning by a decent margin, we might see other guys pitch instead of the guys that we've depended on," Washington said. "If it's close ballgames, [whoever] we have down there [warming] is coming in. We're not in a position to take chances right now. We're in a position to shut ballgames down."

Washington said he doesn't want to take away anything from any of the other relievers, though.

"That doesn't mean I don't trust those other guys down there," Washington said. "There's just some guys down there, when there's a situation when we have a chance to win, they're gonna be the ones to get the ball. It's that simple."

One of those guys includes closer Joe Nathan, who's recovered well since his 2010 Tommy John surgery. He's put together 30 saves -- including 28 in a row entering Friday -- with a 2.48 ERA in his first season with Texas.

How well Nathan's done isn't a surprise to Washington.

"He's really not doing anything I haven't seen before," Washington said. "It's just he's on another team. We learned along the way how to preserve him. We have to start preserving him because of surgery, age, all of that. It takes a while to get a feel for it."