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Washington Nationals’ 2023 Rotation: Cade Cavalli; ‘23 goals + more…

More from Cade Cavalli’s appearance on MASN’s Hot Stove show…

Cincinnati Reds v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Cade Cavalli made 20 starts, and threw 97 innings total at Triple-A Rochester in the Washington Nationals’ system in 2022, giving up 39 walks (3.62 BB/9), striking out 104 batters (9.65 K/9), and holding opposing hitters to a .215 AVG, with a 3.71 ERA and a 3.24 FIP in the 2020 1st Round pick’s second full season with the organization.

Cavalli, 24, was shut down with inflammation in his right shoulder following his MLB debut in late August, and he worked hard to rehab over the final weeks of the season though he did not return to the mound in the majors in the end.

He did, however, position himself well in his second full season of pro ball.

“I’ve got him penciled in as a starter for us, and rightfully so. I think he’s earned it,” manager Davey Martinez said of the club’s assessment of where Cavalli will likely start the 2023 campaign.

“He checked all the boxes for us last year in Triple-A,” the Nats’ skipper added. “He was going to get an opportunity to pitch.

“Obviously, got hurt. We’re looking forward to getting him back.”

GM Mike Rizzo described Cavalli’s rise to the majors as meteoric considering that the right-hander was a two-way of player in college and didn’t have many innings on his arm when he was drafted 22nd overall in 2020.

Given some time to reflect on his journey to the majors, Cavalli, in an interview on MASN’s Hot Stove show this winter, said there was good and bad in 2022.

“I sat back and I thought about things that I could have done better, and things I that I did great that I’d like to keep improving on,” Cavalli said. “And I thought it was a really good year.

“My main goal always is to stay healthy, so whenever that happened [the injury], that was a little frustrating, but the only thing you could do was look at the next best choice ahead which was go get that thing stronger and get better and that’s been my approach.”

Though it didn’t end the way he hoped it would, Cavalli was happy with the season as a whole.

“I was pleased with last season, but i’d like to go in there and prove a little bit more and go help the club get some Ws this year,” he said.

Cavalli, if healthy, figures to be part of a relatively young Nats’ rotation which will feature Josiah Gray, 25, MacKenzie Gore, 23, Trevor Williams, 30, and Patrick Corbin, 33. He said he was excited about the opportunity to work alongside those pitchers.

“It’s really exciting,” Cavalli told MASN’s hosts. “I think it’s really exciting time for our team and I know we’re looking forward to getting after it together.”

The right-hander’s personal goals are fairly modest as he prepares for his third pro season.

“I think that if I just go and trust my stuff and compete in the zone, that’s really all I can control,” Cavalli said. “Once the ball leaves my hand, it’s out of my control, so I’m going to do everything up until that point to prepare. And I want to figure out how to read scouting reports better, which I’m very excited about that, and just competing in the zone … trusting the stuff, and letting the results be the results.”