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Washington Nationals bring Jeremy Hellickson up to start vs New York Mets...

Davey Martinez announced last night that Jeremy Hellickson would start the series opener against the Mets, but the Nationals made it official this afternoon...

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez announced after yesterday’s loss in the series finale with the Colorado Rockies that it wouldn’t be A.J. Cole going against New York’s Mets in tonight’s series opener in Citi Field.

“[Jeremy] Hellickson will start tomorrow. We haven’t made a corresponding move yet, but he will be the starter,” Martinez said.

Hellickson, 31, finished the 2017 campaign with a 5.43 ERA, 5.77 FIP, 47 walks (2.58 BB/9), 96 Ks (5.27 K/9), and a .250/.312/.497 line against over 30 starts and 164 innings for the Phillies and Orioles, in his eighth major league season. He signed a minor league deal with the Nats in mid-March this Spring, and he’s been working out and throwing in West Palm Beach, FL since, preparing for a time when he’d get the opportunity to join the Nationals’ rotation.

Meanwhile, A.J. Cole, who started the season as the Nats’ fifth starter, in part because he was out of options this Spring, struggled in his first start, giving up 10 hits (two of them home runs), three walks, and 10 earned runs in 3 23 IP against Atlanta, before bouncing back with a more serviceable start against the Braves in which he gave up three hits (two of them home runs), two walks, and two earned runs in 5 13 innings before Martinez tried to get him out on a positive note.

“He pitched really well,” Martinez said. “Really happy. I got him out, wanted him to feel good about himself, and he did well.”

With Hellickson up to speed, however, the Nationals had a decision to make when the fifth spot in the rotation came up again.

“[Hellickson is] getting to the point now where he feels like he’s ready,” Martinez explained this past Friday. “I know he’s got another side coming up, so we’ll see where we’re at.”

Apparently, Hellickson showed the Nats enough to convince them he was the better option for tonight’s series opener with the Mets.

The Nationals announced the corresponding moves to make room on the 25 and 40-Man rosters for Hellickson this afternoon.

Trevor Gott was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse after giving up four runs, three earned, in five innings, and catcher Jhonatan Solano, who was called up when Miguel Montero (who has since been DFA’d) was placed on the Paternity List earlier this month, was placed on the 60-Day DL with bone chips and his right elbow.