NEW YORK - The fourth time is the charm for right-hander Austin Voth.
Or at least his fourth call to the major leagues. On Saturday afternoon, Voth will finally make his big league debut as he gets the ball for the Nationals against the Mets at Citi Field.
Voth has previously been summoned on Oct 2, 2017. April 29, 2018 and June 18, 2018. His first start is today.
“I don’t know what the record is (for being called up and not getting into a game),” Voth said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.”
Voth had been called to the Nats three times this season. His family has flown in for the opportunity to see him pitch a few times already. This time, Voth told his family to come to the game only if he is starting. Well, that is finally going to happen. So his family will be there later today to see him start for the first time in the major leagues.
The 2013 fifth-round selection went 4-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 15 starts this season for Triple-A Syracuse. He is averaging 8.53 strikeouts per nine innings.
He throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. Voth, 26, leans on the fastball and curveball as his go-to pitches.
“I wasn’t throwing the slider last year. It was a pitch I added in the offseason,” he said.
“I think it starts with my routine. Started a new routine in the offseason that has really helped me progress throughout this season get back on track. Last year was a down year for me. I really wanted to prove that I can continue to be that guy they can go to.”
Voth has made some adjustments to get better in 2018.
“There were some minor tweaks that I had to make physically with my body,” he said. “Strengthen parts like my right glute wasn’t firing properly. I had a little issue with my shoulder. Basically, needed to be rubbed every single day. Get it worked on. But it wasn’t much, just making sure that I strengthened my body properly.”
After completing all the work to get stronger in the offseason, he felt different when he got to the mound for his first regular season game.
“I think it was the first game at Syracuse when my velo came back and all my pitches were sharp again,” Voth said. “I was like, ‘OK, here we go, let’s do this.’ “
He said the guys in the bullpen have teased him a bit with all the frequent flyer miles he keeps racking up between affiliates and D.C.
“They’ve been giving me crap for being here for so long and not pitching,” he said. “Finally, I’ll be able to pitch.”