When Chris Young left his start Sunday at Class AAA Syracuse after one inning, it led to speculation he could be coming to Washington to replace Ross Detwiler in the Nationals’ rotation. In fact, his early exit only further removed him from consideration.
Young left his start because of a strain in his neck/shoulder area, and yesterday he landed on the disabled list at Syracuse. And so when the Nationals tabbed Nate Karns to make last night’s start, they had little choice. After Karns impressed and Detwiler remained on the disabled list with a strained oblique, the Nationals gave Karns at least one more start, Sunday in Atlanta.
The Nationals signed Young, a veteran, 6-foot-10 right-hander, in the spring as rotation insurance. Young, though, has struggled at Class AAA Syracuse. In seven starts, including his truncated outing Sunday, Young is 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA, a 2.00 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 32 innings.
With Young ineffective and now injured, the Nationals have little reliable depth behind Karns. Ross Ohlendorf has major league experience and is 3-5 with a 4.83 ERA this year at Syracuse. Yunesky Maya could be an option if more injuries strike, but the majority of his previous major league experience inspires little confidence – he has a 5.65 career ERA in 10 starts. The Nationals could call up a reliever and move Zach Duke into a starting role if need be.
One name to remember in case of emergency: Taylor Jordan. The 24-year-old began the season at Class A Potomac, but he has already earned a promotion to Harrisburg and has drawn raves through the Nationals’ organization. In 10 total starts this year, the right-hander has a 1.16 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 10 walks in 54 1/3 innings. He’s probably not ready, but given the Nationals’ lack of attractive options at higher levels, he may become a potential contingency should the Nationals suffer more attrition in their rotation.