In need of a spot starter, Jackson Tetreault has stepped up and then some.
No one expected Jackson Tetreault to be called up so early this season — but when Stephen Strasburg landed back on the IL after making one start, the Nats were in desperate need of a stop gag.
Despite only having 12 starts at AAA under his belt, the 26-year-old was called up and thrown straight into the fire. He made his MLB debut against the red-hot Braves and the start went about as expected. Tetreault was rocked early and often, allowing seven runs, including three homers across four innings.
Surprisingly, Washington opted against sending him back to AAA and kept him in the rotation. He rewarded the Nationals’ faith with seven innings against the Phillies. He didn’t allow an earned run while walking two and striking out two in a 9-3 win.
“Every time I go out there, I’m expecting to win,” Tetreault said. “I believe I deserve to be up here. Whenever I go out there, I’m just trying to compete, compete for the team. I’m super grateful every time Dave Martinez hands me the ball.”
Yesterday against the Rangers he was able to build upon his success — allowing one run across six innings, while striking out four. After throwing six shutout innings, he was brought out for the seventh and allowed the first two to reach before he was pulled. The bullpen allowed one of the inherited runners to score — marking the end of his consecutive scoreless innings streak which had reached 14.
His success comes somewhat as a surprise — posting a 4.19 ERA at AAA this year, but he’s found a way to rise to the level of competition.
He doesn’t blow batters away with his fastball sitting in the mid-90s, but instead relies on finesse to fool his opponents. Tetreault mostly relies on switching between his four-seam fastball and his cutter, but occasionally mixes in his changeup and curve.
Be it only three starts, but Tetreault has been a bright spot in what has been one of the worst starting rotations in the majors. Despite sitting at 34-37, the Texas Rangers are no pushovers. Led by Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, the offense has plenty of star power, but Tetreault was able to carve them up with ease.
A seventh-round pick in 2017, Tetreault has proven he deserves a spot in the rotation for the time being. “He’s going to stay,” Martinez said. “He’s going to get an opportunity to pitch every five days.”