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Roster review: Taylor Jordan

Oct 30, 2013, 12:00 PM EST

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Age on Opening Day 2014: 25

How acquired: 9th round pick, 2009 draft

MLB service time: 93 days

2013 salary+bonuses: $490,000

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2017, free agent in 2020

2013 Stats: 9 G, 51.2 IP, 59 H, 27 R, 21 ER, 11 BB, 29 SO, 3 HR, 1.355 WHIP, 1-3, 3.66 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 0.7 WAR

Quotable: “He’s still very young at it, but he showed that he belongs up here.” — Davey Johnson, on Taylor Jordan

2013 analysis: A virtual unknown in the Nationals’ farm system when the season began, Jordan began turning heads at Class A Potomac, where he posted a 1.24 ERA in six starts. That earned the right-hander a promotion to Class AA Harrisburg, where he continued to dominate, going 7-0 with an 0.83 ERA in nine games (eight starts).

When the Nationals needed a fill-in starter June 29 in New York, they summoned Jordan, who wound up taking the loss but allowed only one earned run in 4 1/3 innings. He wound up staying in the Nats’ rotation through mid-August, starting nine games, allowing two or fewer earned runs five times and appearing mature beyond his years.

This being his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, Jordan was on the same type of innings restriction every other young pitcher in the organization has been on under similar circumstances. So with a minor back strain bothering him anyway, the Nationals decided to place him on the DL and thus shut him down after 51 2/3 big-league innings, 142 total innings between the majors and minors.

2014 outlook: Jordan’s performance in limited big-league time certainly earned him a chance to compete for a roster spot next spring, but the Nationals will have to decide whether he’s best served pitching every fifth day for them or whether he could use a bit more seasoning in the minors (he’s still made only 24 career appearances above low-Class A, including his major-league starts).

Jordan has the stuff to get big-league hitters out, but he does need some refinement. His mechanics (especially the way he throws across his body) are a scout’s nightmare, though team officials are reluctant to tweak those at this point. Jordan can overcome those concerns by working to repeat his delivery in perfect form every time he throws the ball, which will help his heavy sinker become more consistently effective. He also needs to work on his slider and changeup, making sure he has three quality pitches, which will allow him to pitch deeper into games and retire opposing hitters the third time he faces them on a given night.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I still like TJord over Roark but that’s a good thing when you have 2 pleasant surprises like these 2. The reason I like TJord better is his upside and his attitude. He believes he has more to show. While I don’t see him as a 1 or 2 on this team, I see him with #3 potential. His repertoire is JZim with a true 2 seam sinker while JZim has the biting 4 seamer but TJord has a better changeup.

    Mark is right, Taylor has to refine his slider. He’s also working on a special cutter this off-season as he wants a good out-pitch for the leftys. Lefties hit .308 off of him with a .761 OPS and that has to improve.

    TJord pitched better than his 3.66 ERA showed. Because he’s a groundball pitcher his defense has to make plays. How many teams could use a solid 3.66 pitcher? The Orioles didn’t have ONE starter with a better ERA! Their best ERA was Chris Tillman at 3.71 and was an All Star! I guess when you’re getting 4.9 in Run Support those big stats look better.

    • masterfishkeeper - Oct 30, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      To be far to the Orioles staff, it’s a lot harder to pitch in the AL generally, facing David Ortiz instead of Jon Lester, and it’s also harder to pitch half your games in Camden Yards than in Nats Stadium, so to me 3.71 for the Orioles is more impressive than 3.66 with the Nats. But I agree with you, T. Jordan looked very good last year. I’m very optimistic about his future

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 30, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    WOW number of posters here have seriously gone down. I don’t think it was like this last off-season.

    anyways, wish Taylor the best. but we still need a SP from FA market.

    • nats128 - Oct 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      I agree with you. Where has everybody gone? Its as if the drama was keeping people in the discussion. Now people seem more cordial except when one of those Oriole fans shows up.

  3. alexva6 - Oct 31, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    AAA is the best course of action for him. Re-evaluate at mid season if help is needed.





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