Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli to make major league debut Friday vs. Cincinnati

Nats prospect Cade Cavalli to make major league debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

One of the Washington Nationals’ most highly anticipated prospects is set to get his first taste of major league action this weekend.

The club announced Wednesday that 24-year-old right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli will be called up and get his first MLB start Friday at home vs. Cincinnati.

Cavalli taking the mound for the first time at Nationals Park will be a moment long-awaited by the organization and fans, as the University of Oklahoma product was selected No. 22 overall in the 2020 draft. The 6-foot-4 righty currently ranks as MLB’s 58th-highest prospect, good for fourth-highest among players in the Nationals farm system (which was overhauled in the Juan Soto deal earlier this month).

Friday’s start is expected to be the first of several starts at the Major League level for Cavalli. Per MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, manager Davey Martinez is intent on having Cavalli start every 5-6 days for the remainder of the campaign. Based on the rest of the rotation, Cavalli could see seven or more starts before the regular season closes on Oct. 5.

Cavalli has spent the 2022 season with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, where he’s posted a 6-4 record with a 3.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Over his last 13 starts, Cavalli has taken a greater step forward posting a 2.70 ERA with 77 strikeouts and just 25 walks.

Cavalli had been dominant in High-A and Double-A ball prior to his promotion to Rochester, and by performing up to snuff in Triple-A, his Major League call-up seemed to only be a matter of time. Now, he’ll get a chance to bolster a pitching staff that’s struggled.

Over the second half of the season, the Nationals’ rotation has endured a 40-game winless streak — the longest in MLB history. Cavalli’s debut might be a chance not only for the prospect to prove he belongs in the majors, but to snap the club’s winless streak.

Also, if the barber-themed post by the Nationals announcing Cavalli’s debut seems confusing, there’s a reason for the motif: Cavalli has been cutting his teammates’ hair since his sophomore year at Oklahoma. “It’s something that you get to know the customer, talk to them, which I enjoy,” he said.

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