The Nationals have announced that they’ve selected the contract of veteran righty Jeremy Guthrie, as expected. They’re cleared space for him on their active roster by optioning outfielder Michael Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse. Guthrie will start tonight against the Phillies.
Guthrie, who turns 38 today, last appeared in the big leagues in 2015, when he struggled with the Royals. He pitched in the Marlins and Padres farm systems last season and struggled, posting a 6.60 ERA or higher at each stop. Nonetheless, the Nationals signed him to a minor-league deal, and he posted a 2.41 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings this spring. The Nationals are giving Stephen Strasburg an extra day of rest after his start Monday, and they can’t promote Joe Ross back to the big leagues yet after optioning him to Triple-A on Sunday. So Guthrie will get Saturday’s start after being out of the Majors for over a year.
Guthrie, a first-round pick in the 2002 draft, eventually blossomed into a solid mid-rotation starter with the Orioles. Never a strikeout artist, his calling cards were decent control and durability — he’s pitched at least 200 innings in a season five times in his 12-year big-league career, posting a 4.37 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 over nearly 1,800 Major League frames.