The Nationals sent Lucas Giolito back down to the minors and have called up Reynaldo Lopez for his Major League debut tomorrow. So I decided to take a look at possible reasons for that decision. Giolito did ok in his first rain shortened start giving up only 1 hit in 4 innings but the 2 BB’s were a little concerning. Especially since this season he’s had a pattern of walking people to a tune of 4.3 BB/9 in the Eastern League this year. That BB/9 currently ranks in the bottom 10 in the Eastern League for pitchers with >50 IP. Giolito’s control problem reared it’s ugly head again in Giolito’s second start when he gave up 4 BB in 3.2 innings of work and gave up 4 ER. The Major Leagues isn’t the place for a young pitcher to workout their control issues. So the Nationals made a smart decision and sent Giolito down to figure out his control issues. Last year in A+ Giolito was only walking 2.58 batters per 9 innings if he can get his walk rate back down to those levels I’m sure he’ll be back up in no time. With that out of the way lets lets look at the three best Nationals pitching prospects(Austin Voth, Reynaldo Lopez and Giolito) to figure out ‘Why Reynaldo’:
As you can see in the table above they all have pretty similar ERA’s but Reynaldo is outpacing his two counter parts in K/9, K/BB, and FIP. Voth and Reynaldo have comparable WHIPs and Voth is doing the best at stranding runners on base. Then again when your striking out as many people as Reynaldo you probably don’t have too many runners on. Here’s a look at all three players ERA’s over their last 7 minor league starts:
So why Reynaldo? Well the answer seems clear to me. He’s been the best performing Nationals minor league pitcher thus far this season and has earned the start. I’m looking forward to seeing Reynaldo’s debut tomorrow hopefully he keeps striking people out and keeps the BBs at a manageable rate.