Getcha popcorn ready. Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito will make his major league debut on Tuesday night at home against the Mets in a 7:05 PM EDT start, opposing Matt Harvey.
Giolito, the consensus #1 prospect in baseball, has spent the season with Double-A Harrisburg. The 21-year-old is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA and a 72/34 K/BB ratio in 71 innings spanning 14 starts. It’s his fifth season in professional baseball after the Nationals selected him in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2012 draft.
What can you expect to see from Giolito? He throws a fastball that sits in the mid- to high-90’s, occasionally touching 100 MPH. He complements that with a 12-to-6 curve and a change-up. The change-up is a solid step down in quality compared to his curve, but it’s worth having in the arsenal so hitters can’t cheat to catch up to his fastball.
The Nationals are relying on Giolito in an important series. The Nationals beat the Mets 11-4 on Monday night and the Marlins were off, so the Nationals lead the Fish by 3.5 games and the Mets by four games. The Nats and Mets play two more games in this series, then meet for four more in early July. They won’t meet up again until early September when they’ll round out the schedule with six final matchups. For the Mets, this series is a good opportunity to make up some ground. For the Nationals, they could start to pull away from the pack with a sweep, which could be aided by a solid debut by Giolito on Tuesday night.
The rest of Tuesday’s action…
Houston Astros (Scott Feldman) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tim Lincecum), 10:05 PM EDT
Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ San Diego Padres (Erik Johnson), 10:10 PM EDT