Ryan Mattheus will join the Washington Nationals in Houston against their former third base coach Bo Porter and the Astros, and the corresponding move will send starter Taylor Jordan down to Triple-A Syracuse, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington.
We discussed this topic at the end of last night’s podcast after the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore reported that Mattheus would rejoin the big club, but the corresponding move was not yet known. At the time, I predicted that it would be Jordan since the Nationals had Monday and Thursday off this week.
The extra off days will allow the Nationals to skip Jordan’s spot in the rotation and go with a four-man rotation while also giving them extra support for about a week for an already-taxed bullpen this season. The Nats won’t need another starter for about a week, and by that time, it is expected that Doug Fister will be able to come off the disabled list and return to the rotation, giving a big boost to a rotation that has been pitching extremely well lately.
It’s worth noting that this situation fell at a good time, when the Nats needed some extra bullpen depth and had a struggling starting pitcher who had minor league options available. This is the only week this season, outside of the All-Star Break, that the Nats will have two days off in a week, making it easy to make these moves.
As for Mattheus, in nine Triple-A appearances this season, he has posted a less than stellar 5.40 ERA, but his 3.95 FIP shows that he got pretty unlucky during his time in Syracuse. Hopefully when you put him in front of a better defense at the major league level, his expected performance based on his FIP starts to come to reality at the major league level.
All stats come from FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.