Nats' McCoy Pitched Well In Puerto Rico





WASHINGTON — After a solid season at high Class A Potomac, lefthanded reliever Patrick McCoy made the most of a bigger challenge this winter.

The 22-year-old was a primary set-up man for the Leones de Ponce in the Puerto Rican League championship series. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning in Game Five to put his team one win from the Caribbean Series. He also had a spotless inning in Game Six, but Caguas won that night and then took the title in a game in which McCoy did not pitch.

Aside from the strikeout column, McCoy was nearly as effective as he had been against less proven hitters in the Carolina League. Stateside, he was 2-1, 2.93 with 44 strikeouts and 12 walks in 46 innings.

"It was just tough because everyone there had a good approach," McCoy said. "Strikeouts were down for all the pitchers. Guys were working on things, making contact and really making you pitch."

For McCoy, the playoff stint was a positive way to start a calendar year in which he hopes to show he's worthy of a spot on the 40-man roster. He appreciated the confidence shown by manager Pat Listach, formerly the Nationals' third-base coach and now the bench coach for the Cubs.

McCoy "is really coming into his own," according to farm director Doug Harris.
"He has a deceptive delivery and an average but sneaky fastball," Harris said. "He's honing his slider, which is good when it's right."

Out of Sahuaro High in Tucson, McCoy committed to New Mexico JC but he took the Nationals' 10th-round offer out of the 2007 draft instead. He became a reliever with low Class A Hagerstown and Potomac in 2009.

"I know I have a lot to prove this year and I look forward to that, but I need to rest after going almost year-round pitching," said McCoy, who also took part in instructional league. "And then I'd love to do it again."

CAPITAL GAINS

• Catcher Adrian Nieto will start this season on a 50-game suspension for testing positive for two banned substances. Nieto hit .195/.291/.253 in 174 at-bats at Hagerstown last year.

• The organization signed a pair of Dominican players to six-figure bonuses, according to The Washington Post: 16-year-old outfielder Randy Novas for $150,000 and 17-year-old catcher Raudy Read for $130,000.