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'Aggressive' Fedde looking good on mound

Righty throws 3 scoreless innings in start
MLB.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Erick Fedde's first Major League Spring Training camp has gone about as well as he or anyone in the Nationals' organization could have hoped.

The right-hander -- the Nats' 2014 No. 18 overall first-round Draft pick -- flashed plenty of poise in his first start on the mound Saturday afternoon in the Nationals' 6-0 win against the Mets at First Data Field. The 24-year-old out of UNLV tossed three shutout innings, allowing only one hit and a walk. He even pitched out of a jam in the third, finishing his outing having thrown 55 pitches, 32 of them for strikes.

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Erick Fedde's first Major League Spring Training camp has gone about as well as he or anyone in the Nationals' organization could have hoped.

The right-hander -- the Nats' 2014 No. 18 overall first-round Draft pick -- flashed plenty of poise in his first start on the mound Saturday afternoon in the Nationals' 6-0 win against the Mets at First Data Field. The 24-year-old out of UNLV tossed three shutout innings, allowing only one hit and a walk. He even pitched out of a jam in the third, finishing his outing having thrown 55 pitches, 32 of them for strikes.

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"I'm really happy with the day, the result," said Fedde, who faced a fairly well-stacked lineup of Mets hitters. "There's still some things that I want to work on. I fell behind in a lot of counts today, but with a result like that, it's hard to be upset."

Fedde, the Nationals' No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, gave an indication of what was in store when he retired the first three batters he faced -- Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker and Yoenis Cespedes. Fedde's second inning was equally impressive as he induced groundouts by Jay Bruce -- the Mets' cleanup hitter -- and Travis d'Arnaud. Lucas Duda reached on a fielding error by second baseman Corban Joseph, but Fedde then retired Amed Rosario on a flyout to right to end the inning.

Fedde issued a one-out walk and an infield single by Granderson against the shift in the third, but with runners at the corners he induced Walker to hit into a 1-6-3 double play.

Video: WSH@NYM: Nats get out of jam with double play

"I feel like this [was] one of my first real chances to go out and start against a team with a lot of their [starters] playing and just to get into a jam and get out of it," Fedde said. "It felt good that I proved myself a little bit in a small sense. Before the game there were some nerves, but after that first pitch and you realize it's the same game, I settled in pretty nicely."

Fedde, who had pitched in a relief role in two previous Grapefruit League outings, has not allowed a run in seven innings this spring. The rest of his work has been mostly bullpen sessions.

"I think I had some good action on my two-seam today," Fedde said. "Groundball says it all. If they're doing that I'm pretty happy with it. I was able to throw my slider a lot behind in the count and got guys out front."

Video: Top Prospects: Erick Fedde, RHP, Nationals

Nationals manager Dusty Baker had nothing but praise for the entire pitching effort Saturday, as Fedde, followed by Vance Worley, Austin Voth, Jeremy Guthrie and Rafael Martin combined to limit the Mets to five hits and nine strikeouts in the shutout.

"Fedde waited his turn. He showed good poise, good demeanor," Baker said. "Breaking ball he can throw for strikes, which is great for a young pitcher. He's aggressive. He got behind on a few batters and came back to even the count. He threw the ball well. All our guys threw the ball well. When you shut somebody out in Spring Training everyone does their job. We got some timely hitting, got off that losing streak, played a quick game unlike some of the others."

Baker said he was about ready to come get Fedde before he got the inning-ending double play in the third, but was impressed with the young prospect's poise in a sticky situation.

"That's the first time he's gone three, and that was a stressful third inning today," Baker said. "We like him a lot. He's been on a fast track. Just have to be aware of moving him too fast." 

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com.

Washington Nationals, Erick Fedde