Marlins farmhand McGough of Plum gets 1st taste of Triple-A ball
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Hard-throwing right-hander Scott McGough walked off the mound and into the dugout last Wednesday night after an inning of relief for the Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.
He wasn't quite ready for this changeup.
“I walk in, and my skipper shakes my hand and says, ‘Good job tonight. You're going up to Triple-A. You leave in the morning,' ” McGough said.
Two nights later, McGough was starting for the New Orleans Zephyrs in the second game of a doubleheader at Oklahoma City.
“It was crazy,” said McGough, 23, a Plum native who played college baseball at Oregon. “I was still in game mode here. Things like that sort of catch you off-guard.”
So goes on-the-fly life in the minor leagues, where it all can change in a split-second.
But is this really a promotion? Sort of. It's more along the lines of a temporary call-up.
“Happens all the time to a lot of guys,” McGough said. “It just happens so fast, you don't hear about it.”
Normally a reliever, McGough has been told he'll be a spot-starter for the Zephyrs — think a doctor with a pager by his side — but will return to Double-A in the meantime.
Always laid-back and taking the next step on stride — he still catches with his father when he comes home — McGough is ready for anything.
“It was a nice little vacation,” said McGough, who pitched three innings and allowed six hits in a 5-0 loss in his Triple-A debut. “I was able to get my feet wet.”
Just before his bump, he was added to the Southern League All-Star Game on Wednesday night in Jacksonville.
McGough (6-foot, 170 pounds) is 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA for the Suns, all out of the bullpen. He has 42 strikeouts and 13 walks.
The start for New Orleans was rare to say the least.
McGough's last start prior to Friday?
“I started three times in my life before that,” he said. “One was in 10th grade against Gateway, and the other two were in college against Hawaii and Fresno State.
“It's refreshing (to start). Usually when I come into the game there's runners at second and third and one out.
“At the same time, I took my first breath in when I got out there and thought, ‘if I screw this up, it's on me'.”
McGough's minor league journey has been somewhat extensive over a short period of time.
He has been with six teams in six leagues since being drafted in the fifth round by the Dodgers in 2011. Initially drafted by the Pirates in the 46th round in 2008, he was traded to Miami a year ago.
More roster alterations, no matter how slight, could mean the Marlins might have plans to move players again. McGough knows he could be one of them.
“It's been a weird journey,” McGough said. “It's been a unique one, for sure. I am still a young pup in the minors, but I feel like a seasoned veteran.
“It's been a great experience. It's great to have your name called when they need you. You have to be ready for anything.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- MLB notebook: Mariners reportedly sign Robinson Cano
- MLB notebook: Mariners make push for Cano
- Report: Ellsbury reaches 7-year deal with Yankees