As we reported earlier this afternoon, the Washington Nationals’ top pitching prospect RHP Cade Cavalli is set to make his Major League Baseball debut this Friday night at Nationals Park as the Nationals face the Cincinnati Reds.
The 24-year-old RHP was informed of his promotion Wednesday morning. Not two hours later, as the Nationals readied to play the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park, Manager Dave Martinez made the formal announcement in his office.
“We’re excited,” Martinez said. “He checked a lot of the boxes. With all of our young guys, part of the process is patience,” Martinez said Wednesday. “We’re going to get him up here and get him going and see how he does. But he’s done well in Rochester, really well, as the numbers will indicate.”
In his last start over the weekend in Rochester, Cavalli pitched five scoreless innings and struck out eight Woo Sox batters. Over his past two starts, Cavalli has picked up 19 strikeouts, posting an impressive 14.25 strikeouts per nine innings between the two games.
1.47 ERA in his past seven starts for the Red Wings. And after leading the entire minor leagues in strikeouts last year, Cavalli has struck out close to 10 batters per nine innings this season. He has quickly gone through the Washington Nationals farm system and become one of the many pitchers making their way through it. Washington Nationals pitching prospect and 2019 Draft Pick RHP Jackson Rutledge continues to impress many and is waiting for his next step through the Nationals system. Last night, Rutledge went seven innings and only gave up two runs.
Cavalli struck out 11 batters with no walks over 5.0 innings vs. Arkansas in the Shriners College Classic (2/28), tossed 7.0 innings, striking out nine and allowing one run and one walk vs. Illinois State (2/21), and punched out eight over 4.2 frames in the season opener vs. Virginia (2/14).
Cavalli was a USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member in the summer of 2019. With the Red Wings this season, Cavalli went 6-4 and had an ERA of 3.71. Last year, Cavalli had a combined 7-9 record with a 3.71 ERA as he made his way through the Washington Nationals farm system.
While we will see how Cavalli performs against Major League Baseball players for maybe the rest of the season, Cavalli will hopefully be part of the Washington Nationals pitching rotation for years to come.
In 2020, Cavalli Served as OU’s Friday night starter for the second straight season and made four starts, compiling 37 strikeouts and only five walks in 23.3 innings in the shortened season due to COVID-19, and posted a 4.18 ERA. In a twist of fate, Cavalli will make his Major League Baseball debut on a Friday night, a familiar day for him as it was just two short years ago that Cavalli was pitching for the Sooners in the Friday night lights.
The Nationals’ front office has faith in him and according to Martinez, they are “going to have to take our time with him. He’s still learning a lot of different things…But his stuff definitely plays.”