Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Detwiler to start Sunday, Wang to bullpen

US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler tossed 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief last night.
One night after watching Chien-Ming Wang labor through another start while Ross Detwiler dominated out of the bullpen, Nationals manager Davey Johnson has decided to have the two pitchers swap roles again.

Detwiler will return to the Nationals' rotation and start Sunday's game in Baltimore, with Wang returning to a long reliever's role as the club tries to get the veteran right-hander back on track.

The decision was made in the wake of Tuesday night's game, which saw Wang last only 3 1/3 inning and allow five runs on seven hits and three walks, then saw Detwiler retire 11 of the 12 batters he faced out of the bullpen.

"If you had compared [Detwiler's] performance last night with his last two outings, it's a totally different pitcher," Johnson said. "He was dominating last night, very aggressive after the hitters. And his last two starts, he was kind of pitching defensively, not attacking the hitter. I think the stint in the bullpen, if anything, helped him."

Wang, who posted a 6.62 ERA and a staggering 2.264 WHIP over his four starts, will continue to be used on a starter's schedule out of the bullpen. He'll also work with pitching coach Steve McCatty on a mechanical glitch that has caused Wang's throwing arm to lag behind his body and affect his ability to command his trademark sinker.

"I really like where his arm strength is at, but I need him to get back comfortable," Johnson said. "I was hoping he could work it out starting, but in conversations with [McCatty] I think maybe it would be best to see if he can't work it out with less stress on him."


MicheleS said...

Cookies for Ross!!!!

Another_Sam said...

Even a non-GM-pretender like me could see this. Great move. There must have been someting going on -- like growing some trade value or some -- that I didn't understand. I applaud this move.

Clip&Store said...

thank god...i have tix for sunday and i did not want to be harassed all day by oriole fans

Ron In Reston said...

Reposting since it's more apropos to this thread:

I'm certainly rooting for both Detwiler AND Wang. I think they are making the right move in sending Wang to the pen and letting Detwiler start again. However, my concern is Detwiler killing our bullpen. In his nine starts earlier this season, he averaged 5 1/3 IP per start. He had four starts of just five innings, two of six, one 6 1/3 and one 4 1/3. This is not what you want out of a starter, especially since he'll be pitching in front of Strasburg, who is on an innings limit, so is more likely to come out after six just to keep him in the rotation as long as we can. True, Detwiler has been outstanding out of the pen....but that's in two inning bits. Last night's 3 2/3 was the most he's pitched since he went to the pen. I hope McCatty can figure out how to get him over the hump and pitching into the 7th on a consistent basis, otherwise he's not going to be doing us much better.

June 20, 2012 5:25 PM

ExposedinDC said...

Never quite understood why the switch was made in the first place, Dets is part of our future......on a completely different note, what do the rays check 1st, strasburg or maybe harpers bat ?

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

He's only the fifth starter. Stammen can go three innings every fifth day. I wouldn't sweat it.

NatsLady said...

Also, reposting. Same thought as R in R, basically.

I don't have as much faith in Detwiler as you all seem to have. He hasn't shown he can go three (or even two) times through the line-up on a regular basis. I feel at this point he is a lefty Stammen--and that's very useful, don't get me wrong.

If Davey and Cat can't fix Wang by the trade deadline they will have to go outside.

NatsLady said...

Very interesting article on McCutchen. May have some application re: Harper -- who, according to Twitter has a "Clown Question" tee on for warmups.

NatsLady said...

Sorry forgot the link:


Section 222 said...

Like hiramhover I'm surprised that the hook for Wang was so quick, and I tip my cap (a real h/t, not a Joel Peralta sinister h/t) to those who predicted that last night was Wang's last shot to get it together and keep his spot in the rotation.

But I agree with NL that it's unwarranted optimism to think that Det is going to return to his early season form. Remember that Wang started out in the bullpen when he came back until Det hit 100 pitches after only 1 out in the 5th inning against the Braves on May 25. Saying that Wang is going to be kept on a starter's schedule suggests that maybe Davey's thinking that he'll pair Det and Wang for now, not expect more than 5 innings from Det, and by letting Det start he'll take the pressure off Wang for a bit and plan to pitch him 2-3 innings only, depending on the game situation. It's not an ideal situation, that's for sure.

hiramhover said...

Sec 222

Agree with you and others about caution in regard to Det. And thanks for the kind words in earlier thread--by the time I got back to it, the discussion had already died out.

JamesFan said...

I too agree with Sec 222.

A DC Wonk said...

However, my concern is Detwiler killing our bullpen.


OTOH, so was Wang!

Thanks for the tip/hat batter/eye responses, all!

Another_Sam said...

Yes, caution regarding RD. But I don't find the move hasty at all. CMW was shaky from the start. I'd rather be shaky with RD.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

The difference: Det throws 94 and he's 26?
CMW throws mostly 89-90 (I know, I know, he ticked 92 once last night) and he's 32, and damaged goods.

All things being equal, and they're not, you can keep your soft-tossers for quoits. Give me high heat.

Obviously, Davey -- Hi Davey! -- and Cat think so too.

NatsFanJim said...

Phew!! Welcome back, Det!! Keep your spot now.

SFNats said...


bluejeener said...

Praise the Universe and all that's Holy!

peric said...

Gee, and don't forget Danger Will Robinson Lost in a Pillow Sofa Gorzleanny can start and has more experience than both Detwiler and Stammen. And he was just as good if not a better pitcher than Wang in 2007. Keeping in mind that Gorzo was the Pirate's ace and Wang was the Yankee's.

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