Nats encouraging Jordan to use fastball more

Nats encouraging Jordan to use fastball more

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Taylor Jordan is considered a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, but he had a setback on Friday afternoon, allowing four runs in three innings during a 12-6 loss to the Tigers.

Jordan was able to get through the first two innings without a blemish, but the third inning proved to be a problem as he allowed RBI hits to Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez, Austin Jackson and Nick Castellanos.

In that inning, Jordan also seemed to have a problem getting low strike calls by home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher.

"I wasn't very pleased with my outing," Jordan said. "I wasn't locating pitches very well. I wasn't getting the low called strikes that I should have. A lot of those pitches were borderline strikes, and none of them were called. I kept the ball up a little bit. They hit me around a little bit."

Manager Matt Williams said Jordan was beat on breaking balls, and he has been encouraged by the team to be more aggressive with his fastball.

"We are going to continue to encourage him to use [the fastball], because it's a good one. The ball sinks in the low to mid-90s. He needs to use it," Williams said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.