The Washington Nationals selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito from Double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday and optioned right-hander Rafael Martin to Triple-A Syracuse. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Taylor Jordan was granted his release. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.
Arguably the top pitching prospect in the game, Giolito joins the Nationals for the first Major League assignment of his career. The promising 21-year-old, currently ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in Major League Baseball by MLB.com and ESPN.com, entered the season as the No. 5 prospect in MLB per Baseball America. A hard-throwing right-hander who possesses an advanced fastball/curveball/changeup repertoire, Giolito joins the Major League roster after working to a 24-13 record and a 2.74 ERA in 67 Minor League games (65 starts).
Giolito is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 starts for the Senators this season. The Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 6-12, Giolito struck out a career-high 12 batters on June 10 vs. Akron (Cleveland), allowing two unearned runs off four hits and one walk in seven innings of work. Over the course of his Minor League career, Giolito has struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings and significantly limited the longball, allowing just 0.4 HR/9.0 innings (13 home runs total over parts of five seasons).
The Nationals’ 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Giolito represented Washington in the MLB Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game twice (2014 & 2015), including getting the start in the 2015 contest where he turned in two scoreless frames at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH.
A first-round selection (No. 16 overall) in the 2012 First Year Player Draft, Giolito has been ranked as the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in Washington’s chain since he joined the organization that July. Regarded as one of the most advanced right-handed prep prospects to come out of Southern California in the last 20 years, Giolito’s ascension has continued at a rapid pace, despite undergoing Tommy John ligament reconstruction surgery on Sept. 13, 2012 (Dr. Lewis Yocum).
When he makes his MLB debut on Tuesday night vs. the New York Mets, Giolito will become the 13th pitcher drafted and developed by the Nationals (2005-present) to start a game for Washington. He joins: RHP A.J. Cole, LHP Ross Detwiler, RHP Marco Estrada, RHP Taylor Hill, RHP Taylor Jordan, RHP Nathan Karns, LHP John Lannan, LHP Tommy Milone, RHP Brad Peacock, RHP Craig Stammen, RHP Stephen Strasburg, and RHP Jordan Zimmermann.
Giolito is the first player from Washington’s 2012 draft class to make it to the Major Leagues and the 103rd player drafted by the Nationals ever to reach the Major Leagues overall.
Martin appeared in one game for the Nationals, tossing a scoreless ninth in Washington’s 11-4 victory over the Mets on Monday night.
Jordan, 27, was 1-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 18 career Major League games. A ninth-round selection of the Nationals’ in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Jordan went 30-24 with a 3.15 ERA in 100 Minor League games over eight seasons. He is currently recovering from his second Tommy John procedure.