Voth gets first big league call, struggling A. Adams is optioned

Needing a fresh arm after using all seven of their relievers during Saturday's 10-inning loss, the Nationals optioned Austin L. Adams to Triple-A and promoted fellow right-hander Austin Voth from Syracuse for the first time.

Adams was on the mound for the critical moment of the 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks, summoned by manager Davey Martinez with two on and one out in the top of the 10th to face Jarrod Dyson - Martinez expected the batter to be Chris Owings, but the pinch-hitter was never officially signaled into the game by plate umpire Nic Lentz, leaving Dyson in - and proceeded to issue back-to-back walks to force in the winning run.

The 26-year-old has electric stuff, but hasn't shown an ability to harness it so far in his brief big league career. Of the 36 batters he's faced for the Nationals over the last two seasons, he has walked or hit 12.

Adams was one of seven relievers used in Saturday's game, leaving that group a bit taxed for today's series finale, so the Nationals brought in Voth, who was scheduled to start for Syracuse this afternoon and thus has the ability to throw multiple innings out of the bullpen if needed. That made him a logical choice right now over Adams.

"For me, it was more about our needs, and I explained that to (Adams)," Martinez said. "Right now we need a guy that can give us length. And I told him: 'Look, at any given moment, you could be back.' "

Voth-Throws-Syracuse-Sidebar.jpgA fifth-round draft pick in 2013 from the University of Washington, Voth has long been viewed as a potential back-of-the-rotation option for the Nationals but saw his stock fall after going 4-12 with a 5.94 ERA in 24 combined starts with Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg last season. Of more concern to Voth was a drop in velocity - at one point, his fastball was registering in the mid-80s - even though he felt no discomfort in his arm.

Voth is throwing in the low 90s again, and he credits an offseason spent at the Cressey Sports Performance facility in Jupiter, Fla., for helping strengthen him and get his velocity back where it previously was. Other Nationals pitchers, including Max Scherzer and Trevor Gott, have spent time at Cressey and credited the program.

"They helped me out with a lot of things, a couple deficiencies that I had in my body," Voth said. "Strengthened those. And from there, I was able to see the velo go up. I was getting stronger. Big credit to them."

Voth opened this season 1-0 with an 0.96 ERA and 22-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Triple-A, earning this promotion. He got the call late Saturday night and immediately made plans to get to Washington this morning after he called excited family members. His wife and parents, who live in Seattle, were able to get on a red-eye flight and will be in attendance today to see the right-hander potentially make his major league debut.

Voth has no substantive relief experience in his career, so Martinez said he'll have to be careful giving him enough time to warm up if he's going to be used in a game.

"I'll do whatever I need to do, be whatever guy they need me to be," the pitcher said. "Right now, I just want to have an opportunity to contribute."

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Game 28 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks

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