Saturday, August 17, 2013

DL stint brings end to Jordan's season

USA Today Sports Images
ATLANTA — The Nationals placed Taylor Jordan on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, an injury that will lead the organization to enact its plan to shut down the rookie right-hander for the rest of the season.

Jordan pitched six strong innings Friday night against the Braves, allowed two unearned runs, and didn't note any physical ailments afterward, but manager Davey Johnson said the pitcher mentioned a problem with his back several days earlier and mentioned it again late Friday.

The Nationals had been planning all along to shut down Jordan before season's end, restricting his workload in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. After Friday's start, his total innings count for the year (majors and minors combined) stands at 142.

Jordan won't be given an opportunity to add to that number this season.

"We didn't want to shut him down [yet], but again, he was going to be shut down after a couple more starts," Johnson said. "With the back problem, you don't want a guy coming out there and hurting his arm with something bothering his delivery. So that became a no-brainer then."

Jordan finishes his abbreviated rookie season with a 1-3 record and 3.66 ERA in nine starts. A ninth-round pick in the 2009 draft, Jordan began this year at Class A Potomac but quickly burst up the organizational ladder and made his big-league debut June 29 when veteran Dan Haren landed on the DL.

The 24-year-old earned positive reviews from club officials and put himself in position to compete for a spot in the 2014 rotation.

"There's no question about it, no question about it," Johnson said. "He's got good stuff, good command. He's still very young at it, but he showed that he belongs up here."

Ross Ohlendorf will take Jordan's rotation spot, though the veteran (who is on the DL and made a rehab start Friday for Class A Potomac) won't need to return to the active roster until Wednesday in Chicago. Until then, the Nationals will use an extra position player in the form of Tyler Moore, who was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse today.

Moore had been swinging a hot bat at Syracuse, batting .371 with seven homers and 31 RBI over his last 28 games. The outfielder/first baseman credited an adjustment suggested by Class AAA hitting coach Troy Gingrich for improving his timing at the plate and leading to better results.

Now Moore feels ready to contribute again at the big-league level, regardless of how much or how little playing time he gets.

"I say I'm a young player, but I'm 26," he said. "It's about time for me to start hanging on to some things and really taking them with me. I just feel like I struggled. I learned how to get out of it, I came through adversity and I feel like it just makes you stronger."


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