Taylor Jordan's call to the majors to make his MLB debut this afternoon was officially announced when Davey Johnson talked to reporters yesterday about bringing the 24-year-old right-hander up to face the New York Mets in Citi Field. After Washington's late-inning come-from-behind win in NY last night, the Nationals' manager announced the corresponding move that would clear room for Jordan.
"The move is Taylor Jordan," Davey Johnson told reporters last night, "and we're sending out Chris Marrero. And I needed to talk to him and, you know, it was a tough situation for a young player that's having a heck of a year and I have to take his spot for the roster. And I told him, keep his head up and keep having a great year.
In 55 games and 228 plate appearances at Triple-A Syracuse this season, Marrero, the Nats' 24-year-old, '06 1st Round pick, has a .306/.355/.502 line with nine doubles and 10 home runs. Over the eight games the first baseman got into when he was up with the Nats, Marrero was 2 for 16, leaving him 29 for 125 in 39 major league games in his career. Marrero returns to Syracuse so that the Nationals' '09 9th Round pick, Taylor Jordan can start this afternoon's game against the Mets' Dillon Gee. In his second stop this year after beginning the season at High-A Potomac, Jordan was (7-0) in nine games, eight starts and 54.0 innings on the mound for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators before being called up, in which he's put up a 0.83 ERA and a 2.39 FIP, with nine walks (1.50 BB/9) and 43 Ks (7.17 K/9).
The move to bring Jordan up wasn't the only one the Nationals made today. The team also announced that it had optioned IF/OF Jeff Kobernus back to Triple-A and recalled right-hander reliever Erik Davis who was up in the Nats' bullpen earlier this year:
The #Nationals today selected RHP Taylor Jordan (Harrisburg), recalled RHR Erik Davis (Syracuse), optioned JKobernus & CMarrero to Syracuse.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 29, 2013
Jordan and Davis join the Nationals after the big comeback win last night in Citi Field which saw the Nats dominated by Mets' right-hander Matt Harvey before they came up big against New York's bullpen with three runs in the eighth on a bases-clearing double by Ryan Zimmermann and two more in the ninth on back-to-back doubles by Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond and a sac fly by Kurt Suzuki. A 4-1 Mets lead evaporated on Zimmerman's double and Werth and Desmond combined to put the Nationals ahead.
Davey Johnson was impressed with the Nats' fortitude. "It was a big win," Johnson said, "that might have been our biggest win of the year right there. Guys battled. [Mets' manager] Terry [Collins] was making every move he could to try to have the edge, and guys got key base hits and that's what we're capable of. Zim got the big blow and then I thought the at bat that [Desmond] put on there, that was outstanding. And that's what we're capable of doing, and so it was a big, uplifting win."
Before Zimmerman came up with the big double, however, the Nationals did load the bases in front of him with Roger Bernadina singling to start the eighth before Denard Span doubled off left-handed reliever Josh Edgin and Anthony Rendon walked against the third Mets' pitcher of the inning, Brandon Lyon. Span's hit, in particular, was indicative of what Johnson said his team can do, but hasn't this season. "His history is he hits [lefties] equally as well [as right-handers]," Johnson said of Span, who has a .146/.222/.171 line against lefties this year after last night's hit, and a .278/.360/.375 line vs LHP in his career. "But everybody's been down on what they're capable of doing," the Nats' skipper said, "and so this was a good jumpstart. Guys didn't know what they're capable of doing. And I know the team was fired up. It was a big win."
Luckily for the Nationals, Matt Harvey looked tired in his final inning of work after dominating the Nats to the tune of three hits and one run allowed with 11 Ks collected in seven innings of work before he handed the ball and a 4-1 lead to the Mets' bullpen. Getting Harvey off the mound was a big boost according to the Nationals' 70-year-old manager. "No doubt about it," Johnson said. "All we wanted to do was just stay close. And he pitched a heck of a game. I knew he was at the end of his rope and I was hoping that we could tack something on him, but he's a heck of a pitcher."
"He wasn't giving us much," Johnson said of the one run the Nationals scored on Desmond's solo home run in the fifth. "And I know his history is they usually take him out around 100 pitches, so there was a little leeway in there to get them and our guys did, so it was big." As for Desmond's big night (2 for 4, HR, RBI double), the Nats' skipper said it was good to see his hard-hitting shortstop come through. "His tendency sometimes is he tries to do too much," Johnson said, "and when everybody's not doing a whole lot he tries to do too much, he'll chase bad pitches... but when he stays within himself, I mean, he hit the heck out of that ball, that first home run he hit... that was a bomb. And that was off [Harvey's] breaking ball."
"But I think just the way we finished that game, that was the key," Johnson continued, "because everybody had good at bats. And Zimmerman was outstanding. I like seeing him rifle those balls through the infield, that's more what I'm used to seeing."
Can the Nationals keep the momentum going this afternoon with their debuting right-hander on the mound in Citi Field? We'll find out at 1:10 pm EDT.
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