DJ Herz is Making His Major League Debut Tonight for the Nationals

The Nationals pitching staff has been on quite the roll lately, with multiple young arms making significant strides in their development - something this team has not been able to do in over a decade. With Trevor Williams hitting the injured list, DJ Herz will be the next guy up.
Washington Nationals v New York Mets
Washington Nationals v New York Mets / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

In the week's worth of games prior to last night, the Nationals pitching staff had been on quite a roll, delivering several quality starts and giving the team a chance to win, as well as a series victory over the Atlanta Braves. What was initially thought to be this team's weakest area has become their biggest strength thanks to the development of young arms such as Jake Irvin and Mitchell Parker as well as the next step taken by MacKenzie Gore. That is not even to mention the insane turnaround we are witnessing from Trevor Williams this season. That being said, it will be a while before we see Williams again.

The Nationals announced today that Williams is heading to the 15 Day Injured List due to a right flexor muscle strain.

Williams has been excellent this season as he has a 2.22 ERA in 56.2 innings through 11 starts. A rising tide raises all boats and Williams being able to turn thungs around coming off a dreadful 2023 performance has really bolstered the rotation and bullpen alike. It is poor timing and hopefully the injury does not keep Williams out too long.

Injuries are unfortunate, especially when players have really found a good rhythm and are performing well, but injuries also create opportunities. Opportunities lead to diamonds being found in the rough, diamonds such as Irvin and Parker.

Enter: DJ Herz

DJ Herz is Making His Major League Debut Tonight

Acquired last summer in the trade that sent Jeimer Candelario to Chicago, DJ Herz entered this season as the Nationals 12th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Herz is a lefty who primarily throws a fastball, slider and a changeup while mixing in a curveball. While his fastball only sits in the low 90s, Herz' vulcan changeup is easily his best pitch as it routinely falls off the table as it crosses the plate.

Herz's biggest area to improve is his walk rate, as he is walking 7.3 batters per nine innings. That is not good. The bright side is that Herz is generating whiffs at a very high rate, so he has the stuff to be a quality arm for the Nationals. It is also worth mentioning that both Jake Irvin and Mitchell Parker also struggled with walks mightily in the minors and have since drastically cut down on their walks with the Nationals. Hopefully Herz can follow suit.

Herz is obviously a rookie making his MLB debut, but it is hard not to be excited with the roll the Nationals pitching staff has been on this season. Another young, high upside arm is very tantalizing and undoubtedly all Nationals fans will be rooting for Herz tonight against the Mets.