Although it has not been officially announced, right-hander Erick Fedde is expected to make his first Major League start of the season in Wednesday’s series finale against the Padres. Fedde had struggled a bit in his most recent starts, allowing five earned runs in three separate outings spanning from May 2-12.
Manager Davey Martinez did not make the official announcement of which pitcher the Nationals would go with Wednesday following the club’s 2-1 walk-off series winner over the Padres.
“To be announced (Wednesday),” Martinez said postgame. “Don’t know yet. Really don’t know. We just haven’t. I’m going to talk to (general manager Mike Rizzo), but we haven’t made a decision yet.”
Triple-A Syracuse play-by-play announcer Eric Gallanty has seen Fedde, 25, up close recently, and said although the big right-hander allowed five runs against Scranton Wilkes-Barre on May 7, he has been getting very good velocity on his fastball.
“It felt like even with that five-earned run start against Scranton Wilkes-Barre he was really close, his velocity was way up, slider was working great, just needed to get out of his own way”, Gallanty said. “He needed to trust fastball a hair more, and he did his last start. Working in a better rhythm this year than last year.
“It just felt like everything was clicking, and he was a pitch or two away from that happening even in his outing where numbers didn’t jump off the page.”
In Fedde’s last start on May 17, he put up one of his best efforts of the season, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts against Lehigh Valley.
This start Wednesday is the perfect situation for Fedde to shine in a series that is already won, against an opponent that has struggled to a 20-30 mark, but still has some guys that can rake.
“Fedde has been taking the ball each time his turn comes up,” said Nationals pitching coordinator Paul Menhart. “He has been competing his tail off, preparing himself for any opportunity that arises.”
This season, Fedde is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in eight starts for Syracuse. Last season with the Nationals, Fedde was 0-1 with a 9.39 ERA in three major league starts against the Colorado Rockies, at the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets.
His longest outing last season for the Nats was six innings on August 27 versus the Mets. In his last start with the Nats in that game, he allowed five runs on seven hits with a hit batter, two homers, two walks and five strikeouts. The Mets edged the Nats 6-5 at Nats Park.