Nats will go with Taylor Jordan in spring opener

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm •  Published: February 25, 2014

VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams said Tuesday that Taylor Jordan will start the team's first spring training game.

The Nationals open Grapefruit League play against the New York Mets on Friday in Port St. Lucie.

Williams did not say who will start the home opener Saturday against Atlanta, but he said Stephen Strasburg is on target to take the mound on opening day, March 31, against the Mets in New York.

The first-year manager said the team has its pitching schedule mapped out.

Jordan, a 25-year-old right-hander, made nine starts for Washington last season and went 1-3 with a 3.66 ERA. He is in contention for the team's No. 5 starter position.

"I've been really impressed with what I've seen," Williams said of Jordan, who has a mid-90s fastball, changeup and breaking ball. "It's electric stuff out of the hand. I can't wait to see him in a game and get an opposition hitter in there and have some competition for him."

Williams said the team would likely start setting up its regular-season rotation after the off day March 18. But first, there are a number of pitchers he wants to get a look at, including Jordan, who is competing with Ross Detwiler, Tanner Roark and Ross Ohlendorf for the final spot in the Nationals' rotation.

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