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Top prospect Giolito promoted to Harrisburg

Jul 25, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

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The Nationals have promoted top prospect Lucas Giolito to Class AA Harrisburg, deeming the 21-year-old right-hander ready to start pitching at the upper levels of their farm system.

Giolito, recently named the No. 1 prospect in baseball by, went 3-5 with a 2.71 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) for Class A Potomac over the season’s first half, striking out 86 batters in 69 2/3 innings.

He also earned the starting assignment for the All-Star Futures Game two weeks ago in Cincinnati, tossing two scoreless innings for Team USA.

The Nationals’ first-round pick in the 2012 draft (16th overall), Giolito was selected despite knowledge of a potentially serious elbow injury. He had Tommy John surgery later that summer to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and missed most of 2013 but has come back since healthy and dominant.

In 45 total minor-league games (43 starts), Giolito is 15-8 with a 2.38 ERA, striking out 236 batters over 206 1/3 innings.

Though the Nationals are being somewhat aggressive in promoting Giolito to Class AA at this stage of his professional career, they’re still monitoring his workload closely. As they do with every young pitcher in the organization, even more so those who had major arm surgeries, the Nationals are limiting Giolito’s innings count.

After totaling 98 innings last season at low-Class A Hagerstown, he is expected to be held to roughly 120-to-130 innings this season, then be held to roughly 150-to-160 innings next season, even if he reaches the majors.

  1. letswin3 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I realize that 2016 Spring Training will have to wait awhile, but I can already think of at least 4 starting pitchers who might be battling for the 2 open spots in the rotation … and all of them are already part of the Nat’s family. How good is that prospect?

    • coop202 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:24 PM

      I doubt he’s in the starting rotation to start next year. Not just because of contract concerns, but also his inning limitations. But I get what you’re sainyg 🙂

      • letswin3 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:32 PM

        I think it would be great to have another Strass-like running debate when the Nat’s would shut him down after about 160 innings (the likely path for 2016) … there are some baseball talking heads who are still steamed about Strass watching from the dugout that year.

  2. Doc - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:22 PM

    Bring him up, he’s ready!

    Like the Mets, the Nats believe in drafting pitchers. The Cubbies have gone in the other direction and drafted position players. Let’s see how it all plays out over the next few years.

    • Nats Fan Zee - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:05 PM

      No, he’s not ready.

      I have seen him pitch …. twice in Potomac. Yes, he gets k’s but he also gets hit … hard. Could have been just the outings I saw but he did not look ready to me. On another note he is such a great kid … big smile, chats it up and hung around after the game to give out autographs.

      He will do well and I hope the best for him but he need some more experience. C U in September 2016!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:20 PM

        Agreed, still has mechanical quirks to work out. No rushing him.

  3. nats128 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:33 PM


    You nailed that one as you said he would be promoted to AA after the Futures game. Thats huge!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:11 PM

      Thanks but remember, I know nothing.

      It was supposed to happen last week and they had to make room. This is where he needs to be competing against top prospects.

      Agree with Coop he won’t make the Mats 2016 OD roster for numerous reasons but certainly is in line for a 2016 call-up.

  4. nats128 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Purke got promoted to. Looks like hes out of options so he would need to be called up after the season.

    • coop202 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Would love to see him find it again… He was so dominate in college early on….

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:22 PM

        College phenom until he hurt the shoulder.

        I’m glad he signed the 1 year deal to come back.

        My feeling is he needs to be a reliever and then developed while on the Nats roster as he has no options remaining.

    • TimDz - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:01 PM

      Didn’t Purke get cut and then re-signed to a minor league deal? Are you saying he needs to be added to the 40 man or risk being taken in the rule 5 draft?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:06 PM

        Worse than that, he’s fully out of options and has to be on the Nats roster or be a DFA.

      • natsjackinfl - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:28 PM

        I may be wrong, but Purke was outrighted and was free to sign with anyone and chose to sign back with the Nats on a minor league contract.

        He chose to show a semblance of gratefulness plus continue with a program he liked. He gets to make that decision again after this season.

        Again, I may be wrong.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:28 PM

        You’re correct except for next season he only gets to make that same decision if the Nats don’t add him to the 2016 OD roster as he is in the same situation as TyMo was in either he makes the OD roster or has to be DFA’d and could be claimed by another team or clear waivers and be outrighted or could declare himself a Free Agent.

        The Nats have full team control of him right now and the future if he makes the team next year. I hope it works out.

  5. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    With regard to Papelbon.

    (1) He may be a pain in the butt to management, but he reportedly is great in the clubhouse and teammates love him;
    (2) He will insist on closing. Period.

  6. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    With regard to Escobar: I’m going to hope he’s OK, and that Rizzo knows that, otherwise why didn’t we get Uribe?

  7. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    I don’t know why people think Giolito is so great. He’s only 3-5 in single A ball. What was Rizzo thinking? Sheesh.

  8. unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:06 PM

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the sarcastrophe… (^)
    Simply put it at the end of any snarky sentence, to denote your intent.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    Tony 2 Bags is back!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:27 PM


      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:30 PM

        Now we need a positive Span update. The Nats record when Span and Harper in the lineup together is a .680 Win Percentage.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:39 PM

        So glad he is back and the others are working back too…. and with Desi heating up, now need BP help (holding hope for Chapman, yes still I am) and things will start to get real interesting…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2015 at 4:16 PM

        Me too on Chapman. That instantly gives the Nats the best back of the bullpen in the MLB!!!

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2015 at 4:24 PM

        Heck yeah… interchangeable pieces… cuz sometimes the save comes before the 9th… and match ups can happen.

        Trying to temper expectations but, man, I’m real hopeful…

    • veejh - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:44 PM

      Great news. Bats!

  10. positivelyhalfst - Jul 25, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    I did not understand Purke’s promotion. Thanks for making it crystal clear. If the team needs to make that kind of choice, then the team needs to see if he is ready and not worry about whether they are rushing him. If he goes to Harrisburg and implodes, then the pressure is off. If he blossoms, then at the very least they might be able to trade him if there is no room on the 25-man.





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