Keibert Ruiz, the "main cog" in the Nationals' return for sending Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers, will make his first start behind the plate against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, the team announced.
MLB's No. 13 prospect, according to Baseball America, made his MLB debut last season for the Dodgers and has played eight games overall, including six this season. He'll start his Nationals career catching for Josiah Gray, the highly touted pitcher who was traded alongside him in the Scherzer-Turner deal.
Since the Nats acquired Ruiz on the July 30 trade deadline, the lefty slugger has been tearing it up for Washington's Triple-A team up in Rochester, producing 24 hits, 14 RBIs and five home runs with .308/.365/.577 splits in only 78 at-bats in 20 games.
Gray, 23, has a 2.89 ERA in five starts for the Nats.
With Ruiz and Gray, Washington also received right-handed pitcher Gerardo Carrillo and outfielder Donovan Casey in exchange for Turner, who has one year left on his contract, and Scherzer and his expiring contract.
Promising success in the minors for Ruiz has made his debut a highly anticipated beginning of the rebuilding era at Nationals Park just two years after a World Series title.