When spring training opened last month, few expected to see Joan Adon in the Nationals’ opening day rotation. Even fewer expected to see the rookie right-hander taking the mound for the season’s third game.
Turn on your television at 7 p.m. tonight, though, and who will you see warming up to face the Mets but Adon, who on Friday afternoon officially was named Saturday night’s starter for the Nats.
Adon gets the nod before Erick Fedde (who will start Sunday’s series finale against the Mets) and Aníbal Sánchez (who will pitch Monday night in Atlanta), a surprise assignment for the 23-year-old with only one game of prior big league experience.
For the record, it wasn’t entirely a merit-based decision. Sánchez was originally lined up for this start, but the 38-year-old reported a stiff neck following the club’s charter flight home from West Palm Beach earlier this week. Rather than take any chances forcing the issue, manager Davey Martinez decided to hold the veteran off a couple extra days.
“Let’s just get Adon in on Saturday,” Martinez said, “and push Aníbal back on Monday.”