Mike Rizzo was still not ready to commit. When the Washington Nationals' GM spoke to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kusher and Danny Rouhier this morning on The Mike Rizzo Show, he said no official decision had been made as to which starter would replace Dan Haren the next time the DL'd starter's spot in the rotation came around on Saturday afternoon against the Mets in Citi Field. "It hasn't been decided yet," Rizzo said, "We've got a couple of options. Taylor Jordan's one of them. We could go with [Ross] Ohlendorf because he's on rotation. And we're just going to wait another day or so to see how things come together. But we're going to get one of those two guys probably to pitch for us Saturday in New York."
When Nats' skipper Davey Johnson was asked on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies if it would be Jordan, the Nats' 24-year-old, '09 9th Round pick, the manager was a little more open with information about the right-hander's rumored call-up. "We're going to call a guy up, I think we're going to announce it, probably tomorrow," Johnson said, "a young guy from Double-A that has high promise that should be able to hold us while [Haren] is out."
In his second year back following Tommy John surgery in 2011, Jordan started the season at Class-A Potomac where he was (2-1) in six starts with a 1.24 ERA, a 2.46 FIP, six walks (1.49 BB/9) and 29 Ks (7.18 K/9) in 36 1/3 innings pitched. Since moving up to Double-A Harrisburg, Jordan's (7-0) in nine games, eight of them starts, 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) in 54.0 innings on the mound for the Senators.
"He's just a young stud," Davey Johnson said. "He's like a lot of pitchers, he just gets the ball and throws it hard. And he can locate pretty good. He's tearing up Double-A, dominating them. He's got a nice little slider and a changeup to go with a mid-90s fastball." Asked why they were going down to Double-A again and bypassing any options at Triple-A, Johnson said it was simple. "The guy down in Double-A is better."
Johnson also talked about what the future holds for Haren, who wasn't happy to go on the DL. "The good news is that he fought me a little bit on going on the DL because he felt like he could work his way through this," Johnson said, "even with a little tightness in his shoulder for the last two starts. But he did have a little problem in there when they put the dye in, and he had a little slight tear in the labrum area. So he got some medication. And he's going to start throwing, actually, he's going to start tomorrow for the first time."
"So you did see a 'slight tear' you say?" one of the Junkies asked.
"Yeah," Johnson said, "They said, that's what they told me on the thing. It was a slight tear. Which would be the reason he's having trouble getting loose."
As for the fact that the team is just looking for someone to fill in for Haren until he returns to the rotation, Johnson sounded confident that the Nationals would only need a temporary substitute. The Nationals' 70-year-old manager said he believed Haren would come back and help down the stretch. "I do," Johnson said, "I really do. He's certainly capable and he's an intense competitor."
All the more reason to go with the hot arm in the organization, not mess with the recently reconfigured bullpen and see what you can get from the 24-year-old Taylor Jordan?