2015 Nationals Player Profile: Taylor Jordan


When you have the super rotation that the Washington Nationals seem to have on paper going into the 2015 season, it is easy to overlook some of the pitchers in the organization that could play an impact down the road. Washington’s minor league depth is strong in terms of starting pitching, but one pitcher in particular is looking to make a comeback from Tommy John surgery and get back to the majors at some point this season.

Taylor Jordan, the ninth round pick of the Nats in the 2009 MLB Draft, is coming back off a shortened 2014 season in which he had elbow soreness and eventually had to have surgery to remove bone chips in the right elbow. Jordan did get in some games for the Nats last season as he went 0-3 with a 5.61 ERA in five starts during the month of April.

However, Jordan is only 26 years old and as he told Bob Schad of the Washington Times over a week ago, he is ready to try to make a contribution to the team this season:

“I’m going to perform. If I’m healthy, I’m going to perform. So, just staying healthy is the name of the game.” (h/t Washington Times).

Heading into 2014, Jordan was coming off a great end to his season in double-A Harrisburg. He went 7-0 with a 0.83 ERA in nine games (eight starts). This led him to be called up by the organization to the major leagues where he would post a 3.66 ERA in nine appearances.

Last season, the right-hander went to AAA Syracuse from May 10-June 5. Down in Syracuse, the 2013 MILB Organization All-Star went 0-2 with a 4.06 ERA in six starts before shutting it down for the season.

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He does bring control to his game as he has only walked 19 batters in 77.1 career innings with the Nationals. The problem for him last season was the decrease in his velocity. According to Fangraphs, Jordan’s average velocity dropped drastically from 92 miles per hour in 2013 to barely above 89 mph in 2014. That being said, Jordan went to his changeup move (up to 24% of the time last season).

Jordan did fill in for Doug Fister during the early portion of last season, so he does have experience filling in if there’s an injury. While he might be lower in the pecking order behind the likes of Tanner Roark and A.J. Cole heading into Spring Training games, this month is the opportunity for Jordan to show the organization that he is fully healthy and ready to help the team in their quest for a World Series title. Jordan’s first appearance is scheduled for Friday against the Braves in relief of Jordan Zimmermann.

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