Friday, March 30, 2012

Detwiler shines in spot start

US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler allowed one run on three hits in five innings.
VIERA, Fla. -- In a perfect world, the Nationals would get 30 starts from every member of their rotation, all of them lasting at least five innings, and never need to summon a long man from their bullpen.

The world, of course, isn't perfect, which is why Davey Johnson is so glad to have Ross Detwiler at his disposal.

"You look at the Phillies," the Nationals manager said. "They had the great rotation last year, and [Vance] Worley ends up winning 10 games coming from the pen. And [Kyle] Kendrick started a lot. Guys in the pen, they're invaluable, the spot starters."

Detwiler will serve in that capacity for the Nationals, at least to open the season with the five-man rotation already set: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, John Lannan. And if tonight's dry run was an indication of things to come, the Nationals should be in good hands.

Making a spot start in place of Strasburg -- who was bumped back to tomorrow to better line him up for Opening Day -- Detwiler held the Marlins' regular lineup to one run on three hits over five strong innings. He also threw 50 of his 69 pitches for strikes.

"You see why we like him," Johnson said. "He was totally under control, made great pitches. ... He threw the heck out of the ball. It was very impressive. Fun to watch."

Detwiler, who hadn't started a big-league game yet this spring, was all too aware of the situation he found himself in tonight and recalled the similar scenario that played out at Nationals Park two years ago when Strasburg was a late scratch with shoulder tightness and was replaced by long reliever Miguel Batista.

"You know, it was Strasburg's day to throw and people came out here to see him," he said. "Before the game, I was kind of thinking a little bit and I remembered when he went down and Miggy had to start for him. When they announced Miggy's name, everyone booed. I was like, 'Oh, man.' That was my thought when I was out there stretching. Nobody really booed that I heard, so it was a good day."

The crowd of 5,649 had no reason to boo Detwiler, who had a brief hiccup in the top of the third when he allowed three hits and walked Hanley Ramirez to load the bases. But he immediately buckled down and got cleanup hitter Giancarlo Stanton to pop-up to snuff out that rally.

"It didn't matter who it was against," Detwiler said. "The bases are loaded there. It was a tie game. It's definitely a jam I wanted to get myself out of."

The Nationals haven't told Detwiler what the plan is between now and Opening Day, but he won't be starting any more big-league games. He'll just have to start preparing himself for the uncertainty that comes with the territory for every club's designated long reliever.

"If we need a spot start," Johnson said, "he's the man."

15 comments:

Anything's better than a bar in a parking lot said...

Unrelated - sorry - but I was by the ballpark today and saw that they have the old bullpen areas set up with what look likes cargo containers. ONe of them was painted with a sign that said "Half Street Fairgrounds" or something like that. Anyone know what's going on over there?

Sorry if this has been discussed previously.

Gonat said...

Listen to the broadcast with Rizzo in the booth. He tipped his hand after he was asked about signing Duke how he would be a veteran starter in AAA along with guys like Maya and Stammen.

I guess that almost certainly means Stammen is headed to AAA.

Feel Wood said...

Half Street Fairgrounds

Anonymous said...

He tipped his hand after he was asked about signing Duke how he would be a veteran starter in AAA along with guys like Maya and Stammen.

What I believe he said was that Duike would be behind Stammen and Maya on the depth chart. And that's about right ...

The Nats are playing it close to the vest. Any starter (let's say they release Gorzelanny) they let go will likely immediately end starting for an NL East contender as Livo did. Except for Lannan who many deem to be too expensive for what he provides.

The Nats have pitching depth the other teams are having problems with that right now ...

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Thanks for the link, Feel Wood. News to me.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:21 -- Or unless Gorezelanny is released.

It ain't happening fool. I'm not sure why people are so hard on Gorzo but try, I know its hard for some but try to look at it objectively?

1. Gorzelanny IS NOT the long reliever. He is a better replacement for older Doug Slaten.

2. The only other lefty Sean Burnett just got back from back spasms that locked him up so bad he couldn't stand up. Gorzelanny is his only backup everyone else is right handed. Including Stammen.

3. Gorzelanny was the most effective left hander coming out of the bullpen in 2011 according to advanced stats.

4. You release Gorzelanny and its likely he is starting for the Braves the next day. I'd rather face Lannan than Gorzelanny given that Gorzelanny is a power left-hander who has some really nasty stuff. If anyone should be released it should be Lannan. But the 5 million salary gives pause to that notion.

5. They wouldn't release Gorzelanny, Lannan, or Detwiler until they attempt to make a trade to get some value back.

JaneB said...

I'm really glad he did so well.

Cwj said...

Detwiler as a starter in 2011:

W-L ERA GS IP H BB SO WHIP
4-5 3.21 10 56.0 54 15 32 1.23

And we all know he has talent, and has improved each year.

Should Wang continue to injure himself, and Lannan struggles, the Nats rotation would actually improve with Detwiler.
Of course, I believe he should be the #5 starter right now, regardless of Wang/Lannan.

Just a few of my thoughts early this morning :-)

Cwj said...

Gorzelanny as a reliever in 2011:

W-L ERA G IP H BB SO WHIP
2-0 2.42 15 22.1 18 6 20 1.08

Cwj said...

Not sure why I can't get the numbers to line up in columns...
Hopefully the stats are readable.

Cwj said...

Stammen as a reliever (career).

W-L: 1-1
ERA: 4.05 (inflated by a .330 BABIP)
G: 23
IP: 33.1
H: 33
BB: 13
SO: 37
WHIP: 1.38

Will said...

The fact of the matter is Detwiler is a better pitcher than Lannan, yet the Nationals will give more innings and starts to Lannan this season. Even though this problem could be easily resolved by demoting Lannan until the Nats need him for whatever reason.

It doesn't make any sense to stunt Detwiler's progress and development in favor of an older, less talented, more expensive pitcher.

sjm308 said...

Anon & Cwj: thanks for those stats on Gorzo. I honestly had no idea he had pitched that well and the hiccup this spring had me thinking he was on shaky ground. Agree totally with your reasoning and am guessing he is pretty much a lock. I also agree with everyone that our pitching depth is now almost amazing. We probably have 5 other pitchers behind our top 4 that other clubs would covet. I am guessing you would go all the way to Maya before someone would take a pass. That means, Stammen, Lannan (contract or not), Detwiler, Gorzolany and Wang would all start for over half the clubs out there. Pretty impressive.

Feel: I had read a sentence in the Friday post about the new set up but your link was excellent and thanks for that. This is huge for old, retired beer lovers. Have to wait and see what the selections are but there is always Justin's Cafe if this disappoints. I do like that they will be open 12 months a year. Its just so empty down there. I want Nationals Park to resemble what is near the Verizon Center. I do know they are close to opening some stuff over in the Yards area including a brew pub run by the folks at Churchkey. That will instantly be my go-to place.

OK, bsck to baseball. How great was it to beat the Marlins, even if it was exhibition? And striking out Reyes to end the game is icing on the cake. They can talk about it not meaning anything but ever since Davey said, Watch us from Sunday on I think we are 6-1. Have to be excited!

Go Nats!!

natsfan1a said...

Good for Det (and a "stay classy" to all those "fans" who booed Miss Iowa back in the day).


"You know, it was Strasburg's day to throw and people came out here to see him," he said. "Before the game, I was kind of thinking a little bit and I remembered when he went down and Miggy had to start for him. When they announced Miggy's name, everyone booed. I was like, 'Oh, man.' That was my thought when I was out there stretching. Nobody really booed that I heard, so it was a good day."

natsfan1a said...

Second the thanks to Phil's brother for the link, although the initial question had me thinking that the containers were in the ballpark's bullpen. :-)

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