WASHINGTON — Last summer, the Nationals saw the rival Mets promote two top pitching prospects — Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz — to bolster their rotation en route to a division title and National League pennant. Now the Nationals have their own top pitching prospect that they are ready to insert into their rotation and into the heart of a divisional battle tonight.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, will make his Major League debut in the 7:05 p.m. ET game at Nationals Park against the Mets and right-hander Matt Harvey. He was called up from Double-A Harrisburg, where he was 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 starts.
Giolito will make the start in place of right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who was placed on the disabled list Sunday with an upper back strain, with a chance to widen Washington’s four-game lead over New York after winning the series opener, 11-4, on Monday. Whether Giolito remains in the Majors for the long haul remains to be seen, however. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the club will take it start by start.
“We figured he gave us the best option to win the game tomorrow,” Rizzo said. “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.”