Nationals add Karns, Davis to 40-man roster

The Washington Nationals today selected the contracts of right-handed pitchers Erik Davis and Nathan Karns. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

In his first season as a relief pitcher, Davis went 8-3 with five saves and a 2.71 ERA in 48 appearances with Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League and Syracuse of the Triple-A International League in 2012. The 26-year-old posted nine holds and 9.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (74 K/73.0 IP) between the two levels.

Davis is 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA and .155 batting average against in 14 appearances this offseason with Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League.

Acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for infielder Alberto Gonzalez in March 2011, Davis is 45-24 with five saves and a 3.84 ERA in 146 games/75 starts during five minor-league seasons.

Karns was named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 11-4 with two saves and a 2.17 ERA in 24 games/18 starts during the 2012 campaign with the Nationals’ Single-A affiliates in Hagerstown (South Atlantic League) and Potomac (Carolina League). The 24-year-old led all Washington farmhands in ERA and strikeouts (148), while his win total ranked tied for second.

Selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University, Karns is 14-6 with two saves, a 2.21 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (207 K/171.1 IP) in 37 games/31 starts during two professional campaigns.