By Michael Marzzacco
Yesterday the Nationals announced they would call up 21 year old top prospect Lucas Giolito for his MLB debut tonight against the Mets. The 6-6 pitcher had a 3.17 ERA through 14 starts with the Harrisburg Senators (Nats AA affiliate). He posted a 2.41 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings in his last nine starts.
“He’s ready for the task,” exclaimed Nats manager Dusty Baker.
The Nats selected Giolito with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He had Tommy John in August of that year but worked his way up through the farm. Giolito will replace Stephen Strasburg as he was placed on the 15-day DL.
Giolito participated in his first spring training this past March, allowing three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.
He will go up against Matt Harvey tonight who was also a first round pick that underwent Tommy John surgery.
It may be intimidating facing the batting order of the defending NL champs but Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo expressed confidence in their number one prospect.
“He gives us the best option to win the game (tonight). He’s our No. 1 prospect. We like the way he’s developed. We think he’ll do well and give us a chance to win,” said Rizzo.
He is not only the Nats top prospect. Many pundits dubbed him as one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
“Having a guy like this, he’s unbelievable. To be able to have a guy like this, look at the Mets last year,” said Bryce Harper. “They brought up (Noah) Syndergaard and (Steven) Matz and really took advantage of everybody. Hopefully Giolito can come up here and do what he can… I’m looking forward to watching him from right field (tonight) so we’ll see what happens.”