After much hinting and suggesting, it is official: hot righty pitching prospect Taylor Jordan will make his MLB debut today against the Mets in place of Dan Haren. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, 1B Chris Marrero has been optioned to Triple A Syracuse.
Jordan’s story is an incredible one. He was a 9th round pick in 2007 that struggled in the minors at first, with a 5.37 ERA in 2010 between short-season A and Low A ball. He looked like he was putting it together in 2011, with a 2.48 ERA at Low A Hagerstown, until he tore his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and required Tommy John surgery. He struggled again after recovering, with a 5.13 ERA at short-season and Low A, but stepped up another level this season in more ways than one.
He started 2013, his first full season since 2010, as a 24-year-old in High A, leading some to be skeptical about his future as a prospect. The doubters had to immediately eat their words when Jordan started the season with a 1.24 ERA in six starts and earned a promotion to Double A Harrisburg. As his competition improved, so did he, and he dominated Double A to the tune of a 0.83 ERA and 0.852 WHIP in 54.0 innings, including two complete games. Despite his low beginnings this season, the Nationals saw enough in him to call him up to the bigs, where he will have his chance to prove that he is a bonafide prospect, and that his mind-blowing numbers are for real.
Marrero hit over .300 at Triple A Syracuse earlier this season, but struggled in his callup, going just 1-16. He replaced the similarly-struggling Tyler Moore, who was called up when Dan Haren was put on the DL. Moore may have sealed Marrero’s fate by homering in his first start since coming back to the majors, even though it is his only hit in seven at-bats over three games.