Less than 24 hours after the 2 for 1 trade that sent Danny Espinosa to the LA Angels in return for right-handers Austin Adams and Kyle McGowin back in December of 2016, Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told reporters in the nation’s capital that Washington received, “... some depth in the minor leagues,” in the deal, with two pitchers coming back who could, “... conceivably help us some time in 2017 and in the future.”
“We’re always trying to create depth and it was no different in this trade,” Rizzo added. “We have two young, controllable pitchers, both with plus fastballs and good arms and we add them to the list of depth that we already have.”
Adams, 27, has eight major league appearances on his resume so far, after he debuted in 2017, and in 46 1⁄3 IP at Triple-A Syracuse this season, the hard-throwing right-hander has put up a 3.50 ERA, a 1.93 FIP, 20 walks (3.88 BB/9), and 78 Ks (15.15 K/9) in 46 1⁄3 IP to go along with a total of two appearances out of the Nationals’ bullpen this season.
McGowin, 26, has impressed at three stops in Washington’s system, with a 3.69 ERA and a 2.97 FIP, 19 walks (2.19 BB/9), and 94 Ks (10.85 K/9) in 13 starts and 78 IP at Double-A Harrisburg, and a 1.20 ERA and 2.92 FIP, nine free passes (1.54 BB/9), and 44 Ks (7.52 K/9) in eight starts and 52 2⁄3 IP at Triple-A Syracuse (along with two starts and 11 IP at High-A Potomac) before he got called up to the majors this afternoon as part of the Nationals’ second wave of September call-ups.
Asked what’s clicked for him this season, in an interview this week with 27East.com’s Drew Budd, McGowin, who put up a combined 5.95 ERA in 19 starts and 98 1⁄3 IP between High-A, Double and Triple-A in 2017, said it was his mental game that changed.
“It’s not like I developed a new pitch. My mind was finally in the right place, everything was clicking. I’ve been working with the pitching coach, and working with a different mindset did wonders for me.”
McGowin said he’s, obviously, ready to do whatever is asked of him over the next month, whether it’s starting or relieving, though he’s started exclusively since his first year in pro ball after the Angels selected him in the 5th Round of the 2013 Draft.
“Whatever they want me to do I’ll be ready,” McGowin said.
McGowin is one of six players added to the big league roster this afternoon along with Erick Fedde (who starts tonight), Victor Robles, Joe Ross, Austin Voth, and Adrian Sanchez.