Nathan Karns Gets The Surprise Callup

No, I Said The White PhoneIt may just be an up and back, but Nathan Karns got the call this afternoon to make his MLB debut tomorrow night against the Baltimore Orioles.

Earlier this afternoon, there was a clue when Nathan Karns was bumped from his scheduled start today vs. Reading to tomorrow with Caleb Clay taking his place at the last minute. Others felt like the short outing of Chris Young yesterday was a hint, however, that seemed unlikely given how ineffective the veteran had been in seven starts (9HR, 50H in 32IP).

Karns has been up and down all season long for Harrisburg, posting a 4-2, 4.60 ERA mark in nine starts but includes outings of five, six, and seven runs surrendered (two of those coming in his last three starts) as well as a 13K, two-hit, seven-inning complete game on April 20th. He’s also given up five HRs in nine starts, after having three career longballs surrendered in 171⅓ innings prior to this season.

Two years removed from labrum surgery, Washignton’s 2009 12th-round pick put together a career year in 2012, going from from the Hagerstown Suns bullpen in April to the Nationals’ Minors Pitcher of the Year in September to a spot on the 40-man roster in November.

He’s a two-time watchlist player and longtime subject of speculation in the comments — heard but not seen for nearly 18 months before he emerged in Auburn in the summer of 2011, when he blew away the GCL with 26K in 18⅔ innings and then posted a modest 3-2, 3.44 mark in eight starts for the Doubledays.

The Nats No. 5 prospect per Baseball America features a fastball that can touch the mid-90s, a hard (low-80s) curve and a changeup that most scouts say will make or break him as a starter. If he can’t harness it, the feeling is that he’ll still have great upside as a late-inning relief option, a la Christian Garcia.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

4 thoughts on “Nathan Karns Gets The Surprise Callup”

  1. Wow, did not see this coming. Was expecting Stammen to be announced as the spot starter, or perhaps Rosenbaum getting added/called-up with a corresponding move.

    1. After watching Ohlendorf’s last start I thought he might be brought. He featured a wicked and filthy cutter that particularly stymied left-handed hitters. He’s hot Davey admitted they considered him but said he wasn’t available. That after mentioning there had been a lot of injuries? I hope that’s not the case and it was just because it was too soon after his last start. But, based and what I saw he’s the guy to watch in AAA …. along with another favorite of many here and about Ryan Tatusko who appears to be poking up as a late sleeper at age 28.3. Hopefully, he doesn’t get supplanted by Maya and stays in the rotation.

  2. I guess tomorrow is my big day. I’ve been thinking that Karns might be good since he was drafted in 2009.

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