Nationals recall Pedro Severino and select Austen Williams

The Washington Nationals recalled catcher Pedro Severino and selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Austen Williams from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Severino, 25, returns to Washington after hitting .269 with five doubles, one triple, six homers, 13 RBI, five walks and 14 runs scored in 33 games with Triple-A Syracuse. He joins the Nationals riding a nine-game hitting streak with the Chiefs, going 17-for-37 (.459) with two doubles, one homer and five RBI during the streak.

Severino began the season with the Nationals, hitting .171 with nine doubles, two homers, 15 RBI, 17 walks and 13 runs scored in 63 games. He was optioned to Syracuse on July 9.

Williams, 25, went 3-3 with two saves and a 1.19 ERA in 32 games (two starts) between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse in 2018. In 68.0 innings, he struck out 89 batters, walked 17 and posted a 0.84 WHIP. Williams held opposing batters to a .166 average and did not allow a home run in 2018. Of his 30 games out of the bullpen, 23 were more than one inning in length. He posted a 1.16 ERA (7 ER/54.1 IP) with 72 strikeouts against 11 walks in those 23 outings.

After working exclusively as a starter (24-35, 4.38 ERA, 81 GS) in his first four professional seasons (2014-17), Williams converted to the bullpen in 2018. He began the season with Harrisburg, posting a 1.41 ERA (7 ER/44.2 IP) while going 3-2 with one save in 22 games out of their bullpen. He was called upon to make two starts - June 20 vs. Bowie and Jun 26 at Altoona - and went 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA (1 ER/7.0 IP) in those two outings.

Williams was promoted to Syracuse on Aug. 2 where he offered scoreless relief in seven of his eight outings with the Chiefs. He allowed just one earned run in 16.1 IP (0.55 ERA) while striking out 20 batters and issuing just four walks. Opposing Triple-A batters went 6-for-54 (.111) against him.

Williams was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas State University. He was named the recipient of Washington’s “Bob Boone Award” following a 2015 season in which he went 12-8 with a 2.58 ERA in 25 starts across three levels of Washington’s Minor League system.