The Washington Nationals announced the following roster moves on Friday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.
· Selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli from Triple-A Rochester
· Returned from rehabilitation assignment and reinstated infielder Luis García from the 10-day Injured List
· Optioned right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott to Triple-A Rochester (on Wednesday)
· Unconditionally released third baseman Maikel Franco
Cavalli, 24, is the top pitching prospect in Washington’s Minor League system and the No. 52 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America and No. 58 according to MLBPipeline.com. He leads qualified Nationals Minor Leaguers with a .215 opponents’ batting average and ranks second in ERA (3.71) strikeouts (104) and WHIP (1.18). All told, he went 6-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 20 starts for Triple-A Rochester this season.
In his last seven starts, Cavalli went 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA (6 ER/36.2 IP), 43 strikeouts, 12 walks and a .180 opponents’ batting average. He did not allow an earned run in 15.2 consecutive innings with 16 strikeouts and three walks in three starts from July 6 to July 27. In his last two starts prior to being called up, Cavalli struck out 19 batters against just five walks with a 1.50 ERA (2 ER/12.0 IP) and a .128 opponents’ batting average (5-for-39).
In his first full professional season in 2021, Cavalli was named Washington’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year after leading all of Minor League Baseball with 175 strikeouts and leading all full-season Nationals Minor Leaguers with a 3.36 ERA. He allowed just five home runs, and his 0.36 home runs allowed per 9.0 innings led all of Minor League Baseball (full-season). He went 7-9 with a 3.36 ERA in 24 games between High-A Wilmington, Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester.
With his start on Friday night, Cavalli will become the 24th pitcher drafted/signed and developed by the Nationals (2005-pres.) to start a game for Washington.
Cavalli was selected by Washington in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2020 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He will be the seventh player (fifth first-round pick) from the 2020 Draft to make his Major League debut.
García, 22, appeared in three rehab games with Triple-A Rochester, going 2-for-10 (.200) with a double, two walks and two stolen bases.
Prior to being placed on the Injured List on Aug. 15, García hit .289 with 13 doubles, two triples, four homers, 25 RBI, four walks and 18 runs scored in 60 games.
Abbott, 26, was optioned following the game on Wednesday. He is 0-2 with a 4.74 ERA in eight games (four starts) this season.
Franco, 30, hit .229 with 15 doubles, nine home runs, 39 RBI, 12 walks and 31 runs scored in 103 games.
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