WASHINGTON - So who is right-hander Paolo Espino, 33, whom the Nationals brought up today from the alternate camp?
The native of Panama last pitched in the majors in 2017, when he appeared in six games for both Texas and Milwaukee.
He was brought up from Fredericksburg on Monday while pitchers Aaron Barrett and James Bourque went on the 10-day Injured List.
“He is a veteran, he knows how to pitch,” Mark Scialabba, Assistant GM, player development, told Federal Baseball on Monday about Espino before the move was announced.
“His best pitch is his curveball; it has an elite spin rate,” Scialabba said.
“There is not a better person on the face of the Earth, he never complains,” player development pitching coordinator Brad Holman told Federal Baseball on Monday evening. “He has an elite curveball.”
In August of that year Espino was traded to the Rangers, and Holman was a bullpen coach for the Rangers that season. The native of Panama has pitched in 12 games with two starts in the majors.
The right-hander pitched under Holman last year at Triple-A Fresno, as he went 8-4, 5.65 in 17 starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Espino was drafted in the 10th round by the Cleveland Indians out of the IMG Academy in Florida in 2006.
“He is a tremendous worker and just goes about his business. There is just nothing bad to say about him,” said Holman, who pitched for Seattle in 1993. “He is a four-pitch pitcher and knows how to use his arsenal. On top of that, he has the ability to do anything that scouting reports may ask of him. He can use all of his pitches all over the zone in any count.”