Washington Nationals relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27). Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Washington Nationals have designated relief pitcher Shawn Kelley for assignment after he had an outburst on the mound.
Kelley acted out by slamming his glove on the ground and glaring in the dugout after giving up a home run in the ninth inning of the Nationals' 25-4 win against the New York Mets.
The move means that the Nationals must decide if they want to trade Kelley, place him on waivers or release him in the next seven days if the team decides not to return him to the active roster.
"The culture here has been so good for so long," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters Wednesday.
"We've had so much success over the last seven years that we're not going to let anybody interfere with that success and the momentum that we hope to have going down the stretch. We're not going to let any one person derail what we're looking to do."
The Nationals led 25-1 entering the final frame of the blowout. Kelley first allowed a double to Michael Conforto, before allowing a single to Jose Reyes. Jeff McNeil plated Conforto by grounding into a force out in the next at-bat. Austin Jackson then stepped in against Kelley as the fourth batter of the inning.
Jackson took a ball on his first offering from Kelley. He then smacked Kelly's 81.2 mph slider to left center field for a two-run homer.
"I thought the act that he portrayed on the field last night was disrespectful to the name on the front of the jersey, the organization, specifically Davey Martinez," Rizzo said.
"You're either in or you're in the way. And I thought he was in the way."
Kelley eventually escaped the inning after allowing four hits and three runs. The 34-year-old right-handed pitcher was 1-0 this season with a 3.34 ERA in 35 appearances for the Nationals. He also pitched one inning in Advanced-A. Kelley signed with the Nationals as a free agent in 2015.
He has a $5.5 million salary in 2018 before hitting free agency in 2019.