Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Today I come to you writing a post that is number two of three in a series to see who should be the fifth starter in the Nationals rotation. I wrote yesterday about Ross Detwiler and his chances of earning the spot based on his body of work from previous seasons. Today it is Taylor Jordan‘s turn to go under the microscope to see if he is the right candidate for the job.
Jordan made his debut last season on June 29th against the New York Mets which ended in a loss. It really shouldn’t have been placed on him since the defense made a couple of errors behind him putting him in a hole. Just another reason why wins and losses should not be a stat for a pitcher. Jordan only allowed one earned run through 4.1 innings while striking out one. The Nationals only scored one run on the day, so you could blame the loss on lack of run support as well, but anyways.
As the season continued into July, Jordan didn’t get much better. He couldn’t have a complete start, and he surrendered a lot of hits to the opposition. Like I said yesterday, allowing hits allows for a better chance to teams to score. That is what hurt Jordan. He couldn’t keep runners off the base paths.
In his nine starts he did go at least six innings in four of them. That is something that the Nats rotation needs to focus on. Get through the six inning and everything after is a bonus. The Nats have Tyler Clippard for the 7th, Drew Storen for the 8th and Rafael Soriano for the 9th. All they need to do is get through 6. Jordan failed to do that in over half of his starts.
He continued to struggle the more starts he received. He gave up at least four runs in four of his nine starts. The Nationals have a great offense but even they have off days. It is hard to score more than four every time out.
Don’t take this as me being down on Jordan. He is very young. He has a lot of room to improve, but that is what he needs to do. He needs to be in Triple A working on things to get better before taking over this role. There are a lot worse fifth starters in the majors than Jordan, but he just happens to be on a team with title implications and what he is doing isn’t going to get the job done.
There is one other guy that deserves the starting spot going into Spring Training other than Detwiler and Jordan. He will be the final part of this series as we complete it on Friday.
Jordan could end up in the bullpen for all I know. The Nats have plenty of arms around but there is never enough. You might think there are, but anything can happen, so you need guys like Jordan in Triple A getting consistent work so they are ready if needed for a spot start.