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A.J. Cole starts for Washington Nationals in series finale with Miami Marlins...

Dusty Baker announced last night that A.J. Cole will start against the Marlins in the series finale tonight in Miami.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Dusty Baker announced after Tuesday night’s game that A.J. Cole will come up tonight to start for the Washington Nationals against the Miami Marlins. Cole, 25, started one game for the Nationals earlier this season, giving up six hits and one earned run back in a May 6th outing against the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.

A 2010 4th Round pick by the Nationals, Cole has struggled at Triple-A Syracuse this season, with a (4-4) record in 16 starts for the Nats’ top minor league affiliate, over which he’s put up a 5.66 ERA, a 3.89 FIP, 31 walks (3.38 BB/9), 63 Ks (6.86 K/9) and a .325 BAA.

In his last three starts, however, the right-hander has put up 3.24 ERA, with four walks, 15 Ks and a .324 BAA.

“A.J. Cole is going to be our starter tomorrow,” Baker told reporters after the second of three in Miami.

After a one-inning outing from Max Scherzer on Tuesday night, the Nats’ skipper said they could use some length from Cole.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

“It’s very important, cause boy we had to use all our bullpen,” Baker said. “Fortunately for us we’ve got a day off Thursday, so we’ve got a couple guys that are relatively fresh. [Matt] Albers didn’t throw that many pitches, Sammy Solis didn’t throw that many pitches, Oliver [Perez] has gone three out of four days, so we’re not at full strength.

“But we still have [Ryan] Madson, still have [Sean] Doolittle, and then tomorrow we’ll get a reinforce from the trade, [Brandon] Kintzler should be here tomorrow.”

Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo talked recently, in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies, about Cole’s season so far, and his recent improvements.

“A.J. Cole, although his numbers aren’t as strong as they’ve been in the past in Triple-A, he’s throwing the ball much, much better,” Rizzo said.

Since the Nationals had a rainout over the weekend and a doubleheader on Sunday to make up one of the three with the Colorado Rockies, they didn’t have anyone ready to go on normal rest tonight. Top pitching prospect Erick Fedde and veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson started those games.

Baker mentioned earlier this week, and MASN’s Mark Zuckerman discussed before last night’s game with the Marlins, the Nationals’ desire to split Fedde and Jackson up the next time through the rotation, which would also allow them to line the rotation up as they want to for this weekend’s three-game set in Chicago, though how Max Scherzer’s neck issues will affect their plans for the rotation vs the Cubs is unclear.