Meet Luis Atilano
The Nationals starter Friday will be Luis Atilano, a 24-year-old who has never pitched in the major leagues. Atilano went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts this year with Class AAA Syracuse. He started last Sunday, which became a happy coincidence when the Nationals suddenly needed a start when Jason Marquis's turn in the rotation opened.
"The guy that was pitching the best and deserved to come up here was on rotation," General Manager Mike Rizzo said.
Atilano, who will turn 25 in May, was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. The Braves selected him in the first round of the 2003 draft with the 35th overall pick. The Nationals acquired him Aug. 31, 2006 in exchange for Daryle Ward.
Atilano began the 2008 season at Class A Hagerstown, but by last season he reached Class AAA Syracuse, where he went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts. Atilano lasted until late March with the Nationals major league spring training camp.
Atilano has strong control, with a 312-128 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his career. Last year between Class AA Harrisburg and Syracuse, Atilano walked 28 batters in 124 2/3 innings.
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