After the National’s 4-1 win Tuesday night, Nationals manager Davey Martinez told reporters, and anyone watching the postgame show, that Jake Irvin will start for the Nationals on Wednesday in his MLB debut. The Nationals optioned Cory Abbott to Class AAA Rochester in the corresponding move.
Irvin, 26, will start tomorrow against veteran pitcher Marcus Stroman. The Washington Nationals drafted Irvin in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft. The University of Oklahoma alum has five starts this year, posting a 2-2 record. Irvin has recorded a 5.64 ERA across 22 1/3 innings. The right-hander has slated a 9.3 H/9 and a 4.4 BB/9.
After a hot start to his professional career, Irvin’s 2020 season was short-lived as he suffered a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. The next time the righty would pitch would be in 2022. During his 2022 season, Irvin pitched 103 1/3 innings, logging a 3.83 ERA. He has a mid to upper-90s fastball. Although his changeup is spotty at moments, Irvin has a distinguished curveball, but he has been described here on TalkNats as have more of a “reliever’s repertoire.”
The Nationals decided to option right-hander Cory Abbott to Class AAA instead of keeping him in the bullpen. Abbott was recently called up when the Nationals placed Chad Kuhl on the injured list. As a result, the 27-year-old had a brief D.C. stay of one appearance while pitching two innings, allowing one run on two hits in the series opener against the Cubs, where the Nationals fell 5-1.
Irvin is only assured one start, and the Nationals coaching staff has a major decision to make going forward as to who will fill the final rotation spot vacated when Kuhl went on the 15-day IL. By the way, Kuhl was struggling before he was placed on the IL, so even if he gets healthy quickly — he’s not guaranteed to have his role back.