McGowin, 26, came over in the late-2016 swap that sent Danny Espinosa to the Angels. Things weren’t looking very promising for McGowin after the 2017 campaign, as he allowed more than six earned runs per nine in the upper minors.
The 2018 season, however, has been a bit of a breakout effort. In 136 2/3 innings over 22 starts, all but two of them in the upper minors, he’s carrying a 2.90 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9.
While McGowin was bypassed in the Rule 5 draft last year, that might not have been the case this coming winter. The Nats will presumably plan to carry him on the 40-man throughout the winter, so this represents an opportunity to get him some MLB experience while making a roster move that would have been necessary regardless.
It seems likely he’ll be joined in the majors at some point by Austin Adams, the other hurler who headed to D.C. in the Espinosa deal. Adams, a reliever, has already briefly reached the majors in each of the past two seasons. He turned in an interesting effort this year at Syracuse, posting a 3.50 ERA with a hefty 15.2 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9.