Nationals manager Dave Martinez announced Tuesday that Kyle McGowin will start in place of Tanner Roark against the Marlins Wednesday.
“I don’t know anything about him until the middle of the year,” Martinez said of McGowin. “My understanding now is he has a good sinker and really good slider. I am really excited he will get an opportunity to start tomorrow and see what he can do.”
A former fifth-round pick in 2015, McGowin was acquired in a trade that sent infielder Danny Espinosa to the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2017 season.
McGowin has pitched out of the bullpen three times for the Nationals this month, posting an ERA of 6.75 in three games over two and 2/3 innings. McGowin also led the minors with a .90 WHIP this year.
Asked about his dominance in the minors, McGowin credited his offseason training regimen. “I just tried to build my arm strength and I think that was important,” McGowin said Tuesday.
Since he was called up in early September, McGowin has had a chance to learn from veterans like Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.
“I mean anytime you can pick those two brains it’s great. they’re Cy Young candidates every year. It’s pretty amazing just to have those guys around,” McGowin said.
The Nationals take on the Marlins Wednesday at 4:05 p.m.
McGowin last pitched on Sept. 14 in Atlanta, retiring two batters on strikeouts.
Roark went home to Georgia on Sunday to be home with his family after his wife had their third child last week. Martinez said he is unsure if Roark will pitch again this season.
The Nationals end the season with a three-game series in Colorado starting on Friday.
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