Right-handed pitcher Mark Washington has been reliable out of the bullpen for the Low-A Great Lakes Loons. Washington, who has pitched six innings so far in 2019, has only allowed three hits, while striking out three, and he’s maintaining a WHIP of 0.50 since joining the club out of extended spring training.
This season is the second in Great Lakes for Washington, who finished his campaign with the Loons last year. Logging 18.1 innings for the club in 2018, Washington fanned 13 batters, while only allowing six earned runs in the Midwest League.
His success on the mound comes from the command he has for his three pitches. Currently using a mix of a fastball, a breaking ball, and a changeup; Washington, who was taken by the Dodgers in the 25th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft out of Lehigh University, discusses how he tries to work off his fastball, which gives him a chance to mix in his off-speed pitches more.
“I just try to attack with the fastball and get ahead with the fastball early in counts,” explained Washington. “After that I’ll mix in my breaking ball or changeup depending on if they’re a lefty or righty. Basically I attack with the fastball early and finish with the off-speed.”
And his command on the mound has gotten even better in 2019, as Washington feels his changeup has developed a lot since last season.
“My changeup has definitely developed more,” said Washington. “Last year I didn’t throw it much. But this year I’m confident throwing it to both lefties and righties, so yeah it’s developed quite a bit.”
His better changeup will definitely help him in future outings out of the bullpen. And, like most relievers, Washington enjoys the fast pace that comes with his role on the team.
“I like that you get to just go out there and eat up a few innings,” stated Washington. “You don’t have to go out there and pace yourself. You get to go out there and focus on getting quick outs.”
And working fast out of the bullpen will help Mark Washington this season, and for years to come.