WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Tyler Clippard is known as a starter, but he has spent this season as a middle reliever for Triple-A Syracuse. Entering Monday's action, Clippard had given up two runs in 13 1/3 innings.

The Nationals decided to make the switch with Clippard because they realized that he is not as effective the second and third times he goes through a lineup. Washington is in need of relievers, but there is no timetable as to when Clippard will be called up to the big leagues.

"He has taken to the bullpen very well," acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. "He is throwing extremely well down there. We want him to get a good feel for the role. We figured in shorter spurts he would have more success."