The Nationals have outrighted right-hander Ryan Perry to Double-A Harrisburg, a move that drops Perry from the 40-man roster and clears a spot for the Nats to add a starter for Saturday's game against the Mets.
Perry had already been pitching for Harrisburg, so this was strictly a procedural move. And while the Nats aren't officially willing to announce who will get the start on Saturday, we know who it will be.
As has been speculated for much of this week, Taylor Jordan will get the ball, getting the call-up from Harrisburg for his first major league start.
Davey Johnson acknowledged as much during his pregame session this afternoon, when he was asked if he was ready to make things official on Saturday's starter.
"I'm sure the young man knows he's coming up," Johnson said, cracking a big smile.
Jordan has a 1.00 ERA in 15 games between high Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg this season. At Harrisburg, he's gone 7-0 with a 0.83 ERA and a 0.852 WHIP over 54 innings. The Nats will wait to make Jordan's promotion official just in case there's a rainout or something that adjusts their schedule and makes it so they don't need another starter for the time being.
Perry posted a 7.93 ERA at Triple-A Syracuse this season, and has allowed four runs in two appearances (1 1/3 innings) since getting dropped to Harrisburg.
Tyler Moore had a brief stint at Syracuse the last couple of weeks, appearing in 12 games for the Chiefs after getting optioned back on June 9.
Moore's numbers at Syracuse weren't all that impressive - he hit .178 with two homers, two doubles and eight RBIs in his 12 games - but he told me today that a key thing during that stint was that the consistent at-bats he received while being in the lineup every day allowed him to get in the right mindset while at the plate.
Instead of trying to do too much with every pinch-hit opportunity in the big leagues or putting pressure on himself to make big things happen when he would get a start, Moore was able to narrow his focus and just make sure he was taking each at-bat for what it was. He didn't think as much about how the pitcher was trying to attack him. He thought more about putting good swings on the ball.
"Sometimes you can get too wrapped up in looking for one particular pitch in an area, guess hitting, and sometimes because of all this technical gear, you can watch his sequence and get a pretty good idea," Johnson said. "I think it's real helpful, but you've still got to go back to, 'If he comes in this area, he ain't beating me.' It happened to (Moore) last year. The stint he had (in the big leagues) last year early I think it was, it seemed like it was through L.A. and he was down (in the minors) 10 days, maybe two weeks, and he came back up much more aggressive. If they came over early in the count, he waffled it.
"So I think going down there - like I said, it's all mental, back to your mental approach - a lot of times, and even in the spring, he would get pitches that he'd normally drive and he would foul 'em off, like he was hurrying to get at 'em. And like that pitch he hit last night, there was no rush there. He's got a great stroke. I think the world of him. But that is good to hear that he's not putting that kind of heat on himself."
The last couple of weeks, Johnson has used a rotation of Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina and Jeff Kobernus in left field, but that group doesn't bring much pop to the table. Moore sure does when he's going right, and he cracked a homer last night, helping the Nats to a one-run win.
"He's very important," Johnson said. "Your corner guy, you want to use a guy out there who's got some thump. We got a center fielder that's more of a table-setter, we want our corner guys to pop it. I was doing Kobernus and Lombo, it's not really what I'm looking (for), hitting down in the order. I want someone to be able to run into once every once in a while, clear the bases. And (Moore) certainly can do that."
Update: Today's game will start in a delay. The tarp is on the field here at Nats Park and the rain is coming down pretty heavily. They're calling for showers on and off throughout the afternoon, so we'll see how that will affect the game.
For now, we wait. I'll provide more updates as we get them.
Update II: The Nats have announced that we're set for a 5:05 p.m. first pitch. The tarp is off the field and the grounds crew is prepping the field. We'll have some ball here in a little bit.
Update III: After a delay of 62 minutes, we're under way at Nats Park. Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are on the mound today. Should be a good one.