It appears Austin Voth will get at least more shot at starting for the Nationals - and maybe more since the team didn’t make a trade Monday.
On Sunday, Voth lasted just two innings in his start in Boston as he allowed six hits and five earned runs and the Nationals lost 9-5 to the Red Sox.
The Nationals are 1-5 in the games in which Voth has started this year and 3-12 the past two years in games in which he appeared.
Manager Dave Martinez and pitching coach Paul Menhart are trying to get Voth on track.
The Nationals lack of starting depth has been exposed at times with the loss of World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, who will miss the rest of the season with right carpal tunnel neuritis.
“We’ll see. [Voth is] going to throw another bullpen. I saw some video, I talked to Paul, we’re going to try to get him straightened out this week. I told you before we came into this season with him being our fifth starter, we lost Stras, which made [Erick] Fedde one of our starters again,” Martinez said Monday of Voth before a game slated to be held in Philadelphia.
“Things could have been different if Stras was around and Fedde was — we could have swapped those guys, but now, Voth did well for us and he’s struggling now a little bit, so I don’t want to give up on him, I really don’t. I want to see if we can’t fix him, and get him to where he was last year. We’re going to work with him this week, and we’ve got a doubleheader on Friday, he’s scheduled to pitch one of those games that day, so we’ll see what transpires over the week.”
Voth is 0-4 with an ERA of 7.99 in six starts this year. The native of Washington state is 3-6, 5.20 in 19 games, with 16 starts, in his career.
Another hit to the Nationals’ starting pitching came when Joe Ross opted out of this season.
A native of California, Ross is 21-19, 4.29 in 78 games with 57 starts at the Major League level.
“Yeah, that was huge when he opted out. We had penciled him in to be one of our starters this year,” Martinez said today. “When he opted out, which like I said, I support him in his decision, but he’s not here and it’s tough. Fedde has stepped up. We hoped that Voth could step up this year, and it hasn’t happened. But I still believe that if he goes out there Friday and he does well, he’s still got a few more starts to go out there and help us win.”
Voth and Fedde were slated to battle for a fifth spot in the rotation before Ross opted out. Fedde is slated to pitch tonight in Philadelphia, weather permitting.
“I talk to him about this all the time, strike one. When he throws strike one he’s very effective,” Martinez said. “Pound the strike zone, get ahead of hitters, and he’s got good enough stuff to put hitters away, as we’ve seen, and just be pitch efficient. If he does that he’s going to do fine. He’s out there today, he’s got a tough opponent with the Phillies, I’m expecting him to go out there and pitch well.”
Voth made his Major League debut in July 2018 and was 1-1, 6.57 in four games, with two starts, that season with Washington. Last year he was 2-1, 3.30 in nine games, with eight starts.