Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Lucas Giolito Promoted To Double-A


As the trade deadline nears, many Major League teams will be asking the Washington Nationals to give up their top prospect, Lucas Giolito. However, the Nationals have bigger plans for the 20-year-old right-hander. Today, James Wagner of the Washington Post tweeted that the organization made the decision to promote Giolito from high-A Potomac to double-A Harrisburg.

In 13 games (11 starts) with Potomac, Giolito went 3-5 with a 2.71 ERA. He struck out 86 batters and walked 20 over the course of 69.2 innings. His 86 strikeouts were third in the entire Carolina League with the leader in that category, Frederick’s Mitch Horacek, making eight more starts than Giolito to reach 104 K’s.

In his last start for Tripp Keister’s club on Thursday against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles), the right-hander went six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out six, and walked two in a no-decision.

While he has not recorded a win in his last three starts, Giolito has been excellent for Potomac since the team had its All-Star Break. In five games (three starts), he went 1-1 with a 1.04 ERA, giving up only three runs in 26 innings of work. It was also announced that he will make his debut for Harrisburg on Tuesday night against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays:

It’s already been a year filled of highlights for Giolito. Back on July 12, he participated in the Futures Game for the second straight year as he got the chance to start for Team USA. He pitched the first two innings and did not give up a run.

The Nationals selected Giolito with the 16th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in August of 2012. Last season, he pitched for low-A Hagerstown and went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 20 starts. Giolito wasn’t the only pitcher promoted to Harrisburg today. Starting pitchers Matt Purke and John Simms were also promoted to double-A, according to Byron Kerr of MASN.

Simms, in particular stands out, because of the roll that he’s been on lately. Since the All-Star Break, the 23-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.06 ERA in five appearances (four starts). As for Purke, he made one start for Potomac, going five innings and giving up one hit on July 20 against the Keys. He would get the no-decision.

One thing is for certain. Harrisburg is one of the more intriguing affiliates in the Nationals’ minor league system to watch for the rest of the season because of the trio of Giolito, Austin Voth, and Nick Pivetta being in the starting rotation. All three pitchers are ranked in the top 12 of the Nats’ farm system, according to MLB Pipeline.

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