A sleeper in the mix with Jackson Tetreault

Nats Farm graphic of Tetreault’s May stats in Rochester

There was one starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals who was kind of forgotten about. His name is Jackson Tetreault. Who? Right, he was only up for four starts with the Nats as he replaced Stephen Strasburg on June 14 after Stras was scratched from his start and went on the 15-day IL with a stress reaction in his ribs. Tetreault made his MLB debut on that day, and it wasn’t a debut you want to remember. But it was certainly a learning experience for the tall righty.

Tetreault’s debut was horrible. Let’s call it what it was. He faced a smoking hot Braves team that knocked him around for seven earnies over 4.0 innings that left Tetreault with a 15.75 ERA. But in his second start he was brilliant over 7.0 innings with a no earned run gem over the Phillies. It was a mixed bag of results for Tetreault in those four starts. But the two gems in the middle was 13.0 combined innings of one run baseball against two good offenses.

Tetreault was the Triple-A pitcher of the month in May, and the 26-year-old had really become one of the most improved starters in the Nats’ system. But then during his fourth MLB start he was feeling intense shoulder pain. He was put on the 15-day IL on July 4 with a  stress fracture of the right scapula and never seen again.

For Tetreault’s third start, he pitched a 6.0 inning one run gem against the Texas Rangers on the road. That dropped his ERA to the best mark on the team at 4.24. But then he tried to pitch through pain in his shoulder and tried to gut through a start against the Marlins and was pulled in the fourth inning and was put on the 15-day IL and was kind of flushed from everyone’s minds.

The Nats need starting pitchers. Pitchers do recover from these scapula injuries. Jacob deGrom had the same type of scapula injury. So is Tetreault the type of pitcher who will be given a chance in Spring Training?

Both of Tetreault’s parents are tall and athletic tennis players from Florida. The big 6’5″ righty was drafted by Washington in the 7th round of the 2017 MLB draft from the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. A late bloomer who only played his senior year in High School in baseball quickly found his way and progressed in pitching. He has much less mileage on his arm than most his age because he didn’t pitch until his late teens, and the Covid season of 2020 kind of set him back in his development.

This offseason, the Nats’ pitcher is working out in San Diego at the same gym that Joe Musgrove and other Padres players work-out at. The scapula should be just about fully healed now. Sources tell us that Tetreault will make a full recovery.

We saw a mid-90’s fastball with late life, a cutter and a changeup from Tetreault. His breaking pitch is called a curveball by Statcast, but Tetreault calls it a slider. It is more of a slurvey type of movement. All in all, he has an advanced pitch mix. He went .500 for the Nats at 2-2 and had the fourth best ERA on the team of starters. But if Tetreault is closer to the pitcher we saw against the Phillies and Rangers along with the dominant pitcher we saw in Rochester, the Nats have a pitcher who deserves a second chance.

The team will certainly give Patrick Corbin and Josiah Gray rotation spots for 2023. The hope is the team signs one to two starting pitcher upgrades from free agency. Why not have a real competition for the fifth starter spot?

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