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Washington Nationals’ Austin Voth talks getting the call to the majors; working in relief in D.C.

Austin Voth has made just three appearances out of the bullpen in six seasons in the minors, but he’s willing to do whatever the Nationals need now that he’s been called up to the majors.

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Voth appeared in 118 games (115 of them starts), and threw 628 23 innings on the mound in Washington’s minor league system before the 2013 Nationals’ 5th Round pick received the call on Saturday.

Voth, 25, started strong at Triple-A Syracuse this season, posting a 0.96 ERA, a 2.76 FIP, two walks (0.96 BB/9), and 22 Ks (10.61 K/9) in 18 2⁄3 IP before he learned that he was getting the chance to join the major league roster.

“I found out last night, when I was in my apartment,” Voth told reporters Sunday afternoon, as he talked in the Nationals’ clubhouse.

“I had my Triple-A head coach call me and let me know, had my trainer call me later and let me know all the details and got on a plane this morning.”

It was when he finally got on the plane and headed towards the nation’s capital that it all hit him.

“Had to call the wife, the family, agent, stuff like that,” he explained, “... and then it started to settle in when I got on the plane, it was like, ‘This is actually happening.’”

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Scottsdale Scorpions at Glendale Desert Dogs Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Though he’s been called up to work out of the bullpen, with Jeremy Hellickson currently in the fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, lefty Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark, Voth, who hasn’t pitched in relief since making two appearances out of the pen in 2016, said he was happy to do whatever he’s asked to now that he’s with the big league club.

“I don’t have a lot of experience out of the bullpen,” Voth acknowledged, “... but I mean in Spring Training I had to come out of the bullpen. That’s pretty much my only experience. But I’ll do whatever I need to do, be whatever guy they need me to be right now, just want to have an opportunity to contribute.”

Voth struggled in 2017, with a (1-7) record, 6.38 ERA, 5.96 FIP, 34 walks (4.61 BB/9) and 42 Ks (5.70 K/9) in 13 starts and 66 1⁄3 innings pitched at Triple-A Syracuse and a (3-4) record, 5.13 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 13 walks (2.15 BB/9), and 42 Ks (7.29 K/9) in 10 starts and 54 1⁄3 IP at Double-A Harrisburg in the Nationals’ system. More worrisome was a drop in velocity, which saw the right-hander’s fastball drop to the mid-80s from the low 90s.

“It was weird because my arm wasn’t hurting at all,” Voth told reporters on Sunday, as quoted by’s Ian Quillen.

“It was just kind of odd. Nobody knew what to do to, how to help me. They focused on mechanics and that didn’t work.”

He worked this winter at the Cressey Sports Performance facilities in Jupiter, FL and said he got a lot of help getting back to where he needs to be.

“They helped me out with a lot of things, a couple deficiencies that I had in my body,” Voth said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. “Strengthened those. And from there, I was able to see the velo go up. I was getting stronger. Big credit to them.”

Voth didn’t get the next big call on Sunday, as he sat in the pen in Nationals Park during the finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he did get to watch the Nationals avoid a sweep with a 3-1 win.