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Jordan states case; no decision yet on fifth starter

Young Nats righty pleased with spring performance coming off broken ankle

Jordan states case; no decision yet on fifth starter

JUPITER, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Taylor Jordan made a great case to become the fifth starter in the team's rotation Monday. He allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings and struck out two in a 4-1 victory over the Marlins.

Jordan is competing against Tanner Roark and Chris Young for the fifth spot, but Jordan reiterated that he wasn't thinking about that.

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"I'm not really confident in anything. I'm going to play it by ear," Jordan said. "I'm happy to go to Triple-A. It's still a bump up for me. I've never even been to Triple-A. So like I said last year: It was a blessing to be up in the big leagues. I didn't expect anything."

For the spring, he was 2-2 with a 3.92 ERA. Jordan was pleased with his performance considering that he was coming off a right ankle injury this offseason. He broke the ankle coming out of a swimming pool last October.

"After breaking my ankle this offseason, I'm extremely pleased that I'm as healthy as I am right now," Jordan said.

Manager Matt Williams declined to say when he will make a decision on his fifth starter, but he said it will be difficult.

"We don't have a deadline. We are going to get back to [Viera, Fla.] today and talk about it," Williams said. "I imagine that we talk about it [Tuesday] and get a consensus from everybody. No deadline as of right now."

Whomever wins the fifth spot in the rotation, he will likely pitch the home opener April 4 against the Braves.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.

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