The Nationals are going to promote left-handed pitcher Jose Ferrer, reports Héctor Gómez of Z101 Digital. Ferrer, who will be making his major league debut as soon as he gets into a game, is already on the 40-man roster but will require a corresponding move to get on the active roster. That move may not come until Friday because the Nats are off Thursday.
Ferrer, 23, was signed by the Nats out of the Dominican Republic for $100K back in 2017. The reliever got some professional experience in rookie ball in the next couple of years, but the minor leagues were then canceled by the pandemic in 2020. In 2021, he tossed 35 2/3 innings in the Complex League with a 2.78 ERA.
2022 proved to be a big breakout year for him, as he finally made it to full-season ball. He began the year in Single-A and eventually moved up to High-A and Double-A. He threw 65 1/3 innings between those three levels with a combined 2.48 ERA. He struck out 30.5% of opponents while walking just 4.3%. He was selected to appear in the Futures Game along the way.
The Nationals added him to their 40-man roster in November to prevent him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. He’s spent all of this year in Triple-A thus far, logging 40 innings over 34 appearances. He has a 3.83 ERA, but his peripherals have dipped since last year. He’s struck out just 18.4% of opponents while walking 11.2%, but he’s continued to get grounders on roughly half of the balls in play he’s allowed. Ferrer was recently ranked the club’s No. 18 prospect at Baseball America, No. 28 at FanGraphs and got the No. 20 spot from Keith Law of The Athletic coming into the year.
The Nats haven’t had much left-handed relief to speak of this season. The only southpaws to pitch out of the club’s bullpen this year have been Anthony Banda and Joe La Sorsa. Banda posted a 6.43 ERA over seven innings before getting outrighted off the roster. La Sorsa was just claimed off waivers from the Rays three weeks back and was in the minors on optional assignment until a week ago. That should give Ferrer an opening to establish himself in the club’s bullpen mix going forward.