Nationals select contract of James Bourque

The Washington Nationals selected the contract of right-handed pitcher James Bourque on Monday, adding him to the team’s 40-man roster. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Bourque, 25, went 4-2 with six saves and a 1.70 ERA (10 ER/53.0 IP) in 41 games between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2018. He led all Nationals Minor Leaguers (min. 50.0 IP) in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (12.91) and hits allowed per 9.0 innings (5.09) while ranking third in the system in ERA (1.70).

In his transition to full-time reliever in 2018, Bourque recorded 76 strikeouts, 26 walks and a .169 opponent batting average. He was promoted to Harrisburg on July 13 and went on to allow just two earned runs in 19.2 innings pitched (0.92 ERA), while striking out 24 batters.

A 14th-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Michigan, Bourque is 17-20 with six saves and a 4.25 ERA in 93 professional games (44 starts).

Washington’s 40-man roster is now at 36 players.