WASHINGTON – It was not a lost year by any means for Kyle McGowin, the right-hander from Long Island who has been in the Nationals’ system since a trade from the Angels.
McGowin, 27, who played in college at Savannah State, pitched in a career-high 27 games out of the bullpen and posted an ERA of 4.20 with a WHIP of 1.17 in 30 innings of work this past season.
But he also dealt with injuries. He went on the 10-day Injured List in July while in the majors with the Nationals.
After his return to the big leagues, McGowin was shut down on Sept. 3 when he went on the 10-day Injured List with a right elbow UCL sprain.
The next day he was moved to the 60-day Injured List and that ended his season. He also pitched in nine games out of the pen for Triple-A Rochester this past season.
The right-hander fanned 16 batters in 11 innings in 2020 and posted an ERA of 4.91 for manager Dave Martinez.
He struck out four batters in two innings against Atlanta on Sept. 12, 2020 and in his next outing, four days later, he got all three outs on strikes in one inning against Tampa Bay.
After being used as a starter in the minors with the Angels and Nationals, McGowin prepared last winter to make the move to the bullpen.
“I am able to focus on the strength of my slider and other pitches,” he told Federal Baseball during Spring Training in 2021.
“I am just trying to rebuild myself as a different pitcher than in the past.”
McGowin worked out six days a week last winter at the Cressey Sports Performance in West Palm Gardens, not far from the Spring Training home of the Nationals in West Palm Beach.
Other pitches who train there in the past have included Max Scherzer, Brad Hand, and Patrick Corbin.
Scherzer and Hand were traded by the Nats in late July while Corbin had another subpar season.
McGowin will join a list of several Washington pitchers – including Corbin – who will try to bounce back from some rough patches in the 2021 season.
McGowin was traded by the Angels after the 2016 season in the deal that sent infielder Danny Espinosa to California.
McGowin made his Major League debut with five games with the Nationals in 2018.