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Nationals option right-hander A.J. Cole to Triple-A Syracuse

A.J. Cole ended his 2014 campaign with his first 11 starts at Triple-A Syracuse. The 23-year-old right-hander was optioned to the Washington Nationals' top affiliate this morning in the latest roster move of the Spring.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals announced the latest roster move this morning. A.J. Cole, 23, was optioned to the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, where the 2010 4th Round pick ended his fifth minor league season.

In three appearances this Spring, one as a starter, Cole gave up eight hits, two walks and three earned runs over seven innings.

Cole started his 2014 campaign with 14 starts at Double-A Harrisburg, where he was (6-3) with a 2.92 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 15 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 61 Ks (7.73 K/9) in 71 IP.

He ended the year with 11 starts at Syracuse over which he was (7-0) with a 3.43 ERA, a 4.48 FIP, 17 walks (2.43 BB/9) and 50 Ks (7.14 K/9) in 63 IP.

Though he was only in camp with the Nationals for a few weeks, Cole told reporters that he was able to learn from the talented pitchers the Nats have assembled.

"'You can just kind of watch and learn just by watching what they do,'" Cole told reporters, including's Jamal Collier. "And then you can actually go and try that and see if that works for you."

Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked early this Spring about being impressed by what he saw from the 6'5'' right-hander this time around.

"He is, for me, growing into his body," Williams said. "A young player, he's tall, he's got great leverage and he's getting stronger, certainly, by the year.

"This year he came into Spring Training looking great. Of course we know about his fastball and his curveball. Depending on the day he can touch mid-to-high 90s with his fastball and a curveball with feel to go with it. That's unique in that he's got the feel and velocity at the same time. Certainly a very promising prospect for us and still very young, so we've got to make sure we progress him the right way and I know he wants to pitch and loves taking the ball, that's for sure."