NEW YORK — The announcement has become little more than a formality, but sources familiar with the situation told The Washington Times that right-hander Taylor Jordan has been informed of his call up by the Washington Nationals and is traveling to New York to make his major league debut on Saturday.
Update: The Nationals officially announced Jordan’s call-up on Friday evening.
Jordan, a lesser-known prospect in the Nationals’ system before the 2013 season, has put together a tremendous first half in the minor leagues. Manager Davey Johnson said he expected the right-hander would get “at least a couple, two or three starts.”
In 15 starts, Jordan has a 9-1 record and a 1.00 ERA, but his work since being promoted to Double-A Harrisburg has been even more impressive.
In eight Double-A starts, Jordan is 7-0 with a 0.83 ERA. After routinely taking the Senators deep into games, Jordan was pulled after just five innings in his last start, likely to keep him fresh for his debut which, barring weather altering the schedule, will come Saturday.
Jordan will assume right-hander Dan Haren’s spot in the rotation while the latter is on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Haren played catch with a trainer on Thursday and Friday, and is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Saturday. He remains hopeful that he is only out the minimum 15 days.
For now, Jordan will get an opportunity to prove he belongs at this level.
“I haven’t even seen him throw. I’ve just gotten good reports,” Johnson said of Jordan. “(Pitching coach Steve McCatty’s) seen him throw. They like his stuff and what he’s done this year is pretty impressive.
“We did the same thing with (Nathan Karns). Give him some experience up here. That’s what it’s all about. And then grade him out.”
The Nationals cleared space on their 40-man roster on Thursday in anticipation of adding Jordan to it by outrighting right-hander Ryan Perry to Double-A Harrisburg.
Perry, acquired in a trade for reliever Collin Balester before the 2012 season, has struggled this season as his transition to a starting pitcher continues. The Nationals had already demoted him to Double-A before removing him from the 40-man roster on Thursday.
Jordan, a 2009 draft selection of the Nationals who was recently named to the MLB Futures Game next month at Citi Field, is in his first full season back from 2011 Tommy John surgery and he will be on an innings limit this season.