WASHINGTON – A lot of hard work and good timing can go a long way.
That is certainly the case for pitcher Gabe Klobosits, who was drafted in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals in 2017 out of powerhouse Auburn.
The right-hander from Katy, Texas, was never considered a can’t-miss prospect by any of those publications that follow such things.
But he kept putting up good numbers at every stop and on Friday was called up to the Nationals from Triple-A Rochester.
Klobosits pitched at Single-A Hagerstown and Potomac in 2019 and was with the team in Spring Training in Jupiter in case the Nationals needed an extra arm against the Cardinals in the first spring game.
“He is an intimidating figure on the mound – he is like (6-foot-7) and a big body on the mound,” Brad Holman, the pitching coordinator in player development, told Federal Baseball during Spring Training.
“He went through an injury and rehab from that. He was a guy that was always on the cusp of going to the alternate site and all that (in 2020). Unfortunately, the numbers were a little restrictive” last year.
Klobosits has an ERA of 0.00 in nine games at Rochester this year after he was promoted from Double-A Harrisburg, where he posted a mark of 0.90 in 15 games out of the bullpen with three saves in four chance and two holds.
“He has a fastball, slider, and split,” Holman added in Spring Training. “He likes to compete. These guys are hungry to get going. It has been a great camp; it has been very work-oriented; everyone is hungry.
Klobosits pitched in the ninth in the Grapefruit League opener earlier this year in Spring Training, giving up two hits, before both runners scored on an error as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to tie the game at 4-4.
Now he’s getting a chance to pitch in major league games for the first time.
“He started out at Double-A, was doing really well, went to Triple-A and pitched really well,” Davey Martinez said before Klobosits made his MLB debut on July 30th.
“So he’s getting an opportunity to come up here and try to help us win games. And he’ll be — like I said, he’s one of the guys where he’s pitched in the back end in Triple-A, so we’ll see, I’ll try to break him in easily, but we got to use him.”
Klobosits gave up two hits and a run in his first appearance, but got a hold in a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.
“He was great. He was great,” Martinez said after the game. “I just wanted to see him come in. It was a big moment, and he came in and what I loved is that he threw strikes, and that’s very important up here. He wasn’t afraid. He attacked, he threw his fastballs, he faced some pretty good hitters, and he went after them and I loved what I saw. So, I commended him for it after the game, I shook his hand, and I told him if he can continue to do that he’s going to help us win a lot of games and he’s going to pitch a lot, so it was good to see.”