O'Connor Set For Major League Debut

It's never easy to make a major league debut, but to make that debut as a pitcher against the St.Louis Cardinals lineup makes it a little tougher. That's the task ahead of lefty Mike O'Connor.

It's not a great scenario for a young pitcher. It's your major league debut, you're pitching for a struggling team that could use you to go deep into the game and you have to face the likes of Albert Pujols. And oh yeah, you're pitching on three days rest.

Good luck, Mike.

Left-hander Mike O'Connor makes his debut against St. Louis coming off the Reds sweep of the Nationals at RFK. Of course, considering that O'Connor was the organization's Pitcher of the Year last season, he's probably the right guy to put into the situation. Pitching at Potomac last season, O'Connor went 10-11 with a 3.54 ERA. He skipped over AA Harrisburg and started the season with New Orleans, where he had a mark of 0-0 with a 2.41 ERA in four games with the Zephyrs. He last pitched on Sunday when he gave up one earned run on three hits over six innings for New Orleans.

O'Connor was drafted by Washington - actually, they were in Montreal - in the seventh round of the 2002 Draft out of George Washington University.

The Nationals are desperate for pitching, with O'Connor taking the spot in the rotation where John Patterson was supposed to pitch, but he is being skipped over for at least one turn because of an injury. O'Connor becomes the seventh different starting pitcher to be used by the Nationals this season and is the 14th pitcher to have been on their roster in just three weeks.

O'Connor is a strikeout pitcher, averaging 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings in his minor league career.

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