The Washington Times - May 20, 2009, 03:16PM

Rookie right-hander Craig Stammen will make his big league debut tomorrow night, getting the nod to start for the Nationals against the Pirates.

Baseball sources confirmed the Nationals will purchase Stammen’s contract from Class AAA Syracuse and give him the ball for their series finale against Pittsburgh, bumping struggling Daniel Cabrera from the rotation.


Cabrera, who has been an abject failure since signing a $2.6 million contract in December, will be moved to a role in the Nationals’ bullpen. Cabrera is 0-5 with a 5.95 ERA in eight starts, allowing 48 hits, 32 walks and nine wild pitches in only 39 1/3 innings.

Stammen, meanwhile, burst onto the scene in the last year, going a combined 8-7 with a 3.52 ERA at three different levels of the Nationals’ farm system in 2008. The 25-year-old further made an impression this spring during a spot start in a big-league exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers, allowing one run and one hit over four strong innings. In seven starts with Syracuse this season, he was 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA.

Stammen was originally the Nationals’ 12th round pick in the 2005 draft, selected one round behind left-hander John Lannan.