It’s been assumed that Joe Ross would take the Nationals’ fifth starter spot, but given the recent performances it’s possible that he could be pitching his way out of the job (while Austin Voth is pitching his way in):
- Joe Ross – 2.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 1 K
- Austin Voth – 3.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K
No one is going to put too much stock in one outing, especially with Ross entering the day with 5.0 shutout innings. That said he does have just 3 K over 7.1 IP and it’s easy to make the story more about Voth and his success.
Over 7.0 innings Voth has allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6. He’s also generating enough groundballs, with a 1.33 GO/AO, though that has never been his specialty. Just looking at the metrics from his 61.1 IP at Triple-A last season:
- Strikeouts – 9.98 K/9
- Control – 2.20 BB/9
- Groundballs – 39.9%
His 11.1% SwStr% may not quite support this type of strikeout stuff, but it’s a solid number that would play at the highest level. Think of a strikeout rate in the 7.75-8.25 range, but with good control he could at least be a usable streaming option given the matchup (considering the home run rate) and considering this recent description courtesy of Baseball America:
“He enters 2020 out of minor league options, but if he’s healthy, Voth’s 93 mph fastball and high-spin curveball headline a sneaky four-pitch mix.”
Now throw in Voth’s impressive September numbers, appearing in 5 games (4 starts) and posting a 2.35 ERA, 24 K and 7 BB over 23.0 IP. Again he was likely lucky to avoid home run troubles (2 HR allowed despite a 0.52 GO/AO) and he certainly isn’t that good. He still should have an opportunity to win the job, especially since he’s out of options, and he could be a sneaky streaming option for those in deeper formats.
Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball America
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 preseason rankings: