Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Detwiler jumps at WBC opportunity

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler will pitch for Team USA next month.
Updated at 3:28 p.m.

VIERA, Fla. -- Upon receiving a text message this morning from players union executive Tony Clark offering him a chance to pitch for Team USA in next month's World Baseball Classic, Ross Detwiler nearly responded with an immediate acceptance. Then the Nationals left-hander realized he might want to confirm this with his manager, pitching coach and GM first.

"The little kid in me wanted to say yes without thinking it through," he said. "But I came in, we all thought it through and it was still a yes. So I'm pretty happy about that."

Detwiler will leave Nationals camp March 4 and fly to Phoenix, where Team USA opens first-round pool play four days later. He's tentatively scheduled to pitch on March 9 against Italy, in relief of Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong.

Coming off a breakthrough season in which he went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA, Detwiler becomes the second left-hander plucked out of the Nationals rotation to pitch for the U.S. squad. Gio Gonzalez was added to the roster two weeks ago, though he'll skip the first round in Phoenix and won't join his American teammates until a possible second-round game March 12 in Miami.

Though the departure of two members of their rotation could throw a bit of a wrench into their spring training plans, the Nationals didn't hesitate to let both Detwiler and Gonzalez go.

"Like I've said all along, we feel it's our duty and our obligation to put our best team forward that we can for Team USA," GM Mike Rizzo said. "We're honored that they want two of our starting pitchers to pitch for Team USA, and we're flattered about it. I know Ross is really fired up for it and really wanted to do it. We'll work around that schedule and make sure he's prepared for our major-league season."

Manager Davey Johnson said Detwiler will make two Grapefruit League starts before leaving camp: Feb. 26 against the Braves and March 3 against the Cardinals. He's allowed to throw up to 65 pitches in the first round of the WBC.

Detwiler's physical ability to throw that many pitches at that juncture of the spring is less of a concern than the intensity with which he'll need to pitch in a competitive tournament like the WBC, as opposed to the typical leisurely pace of a spring training game.

"The only issue that I have really with pitchers pitching in those kind of tournaments is the intensity of how you're going to throw," Rizzo said. "It's hard tell these supreme athletes you're only supposed to be throwing 75-80 percent of your regular routine when they've got an opposing batter ahead and you're wearing 'USA' on the front of your shirt. We're going to make sure they're prepared, both mentally and physically for the workload and the intensity, and we feel that this will be a good step in Ross' developmental curve."

How does Detwiler plan to approach this international appearance? He said he'll take a cue from his Game 4 NLDS start against St. Louis.

"I kind of go back to my playoff game, where I just tried to relax myself as much as possible, not overthrow," he said. "I think I'm going to kind of take that mentality in a little bit. Just let the ball work, don't overthrow the sinker, because then it stays straight and goes a long way. Maybe that? I don't know. I just have to figure it out when I get there."

This won't be the first time Detwiler has pitched for his country. A member of the 2006 World University Baseball Championship team while at Missouri State, he still keeps his title ring on his nightstand.

This latest honor caps a big offseason for the 26-year-old, who also got married and joined teammate Craig Stammen on a USO tour to Afghanistan with chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Martin Dempsey.

"I think I'm peaking a little early here," Detwiler said with a laugh. "I don't know if I'll be able to top this one. Definitely being able to go on the USO tour, it's kind of the same feeling having 'USA' on my chest when I go to play."

70 comments:

Scooter said...

Fantastic. Nats taking over the WBC, announcing their presence with authority.

PChuck said...

Terrible.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Not like.

NatsLady said...

Fine by me. Det will only pitch one game (two at most), is unlikely to get injured. No problem with him facing good hitters and international exposure. Yes, he had a great Game 4, but I still see him as needing to build his poise and confidence, and also get a chance to use his "other pitches." It's real competition but it doesn't count--a win-win.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good for Ross. This is a terrific opportunity for him to elevate his competitve nature.

He's been in Florida throwing and training for 15 days already. A couple of innings in the WBC is just what the Dr. ordered.

PChuck said...

>>>He's been in Florida throwing and training for 15 days already. A couple of innings in the WBC is just what the Dr. ordered.

Hopefully, that's not Dr. Andrews. :(

The Fox said...

Wow, what a difference a year makes. No way Detwiler does this last year because he was fighting for a starting job.

What if Vazquez beat him in the finals? ;-)

Guess Detwiler likes to travel because he has some long flights coming up.

Not a big fan of this move.

djinFl. said...

team split on two fields doing pick off first and second drills

NatsJack in Florida said...

As with Gio, I doubt Det will have to report until the second round when the team gathers in Miami.

I have no problem with this at all.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey Dave. I'll be over Thursday morning.

EmDash said...

I'm a little apprehensive about this - Gio was one thing, because he's been through several complete seasons as a starter and knows the routine pretty well. Last year was already the most innings Det's ever pitched in a season, so they're going to have to be pretty careful with him this year anyway. Hopefully it'll all work out...

djinFl. said...

now shifted to runners on first and third pick him of first but do not let the runner on third score

tayo said...

Dont like this move.

Scooter said...

Thanks, dj! This is the next-best thing to being there!

Tcostant said...

I for one can't wait for WBC games and now I will have even more interest. I understand that you don't want to ramp up starters, to much, to early; but I hope the earlier camp will manage that.

djinFl. said...

now hitting back to the pitcher with catcher calling out a base for it to be thrown to
lots of infield drills so far covering different situations,
coach calls out where men are
on base and how many outs before hitting the ball to the pitcher

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Why?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey Scooter... just checked the NIDO Viera schedule and it looks like I'll be seeing you next week.

djinFl. said...

pitchers moving on while the infielders conduct drills
det and soriano pass each other with fist bump
followed by heel taps and never break stride

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

In all fairness to Det, a lot of pitchers have turned down Torre.

If this was 3 years ago, I wouldn't care as much.

Are any Braves or Phillies starting pitchers on the WBC rosters?

MicheleS said...

Actually, not suprised. He did do the USO tour and seems to have a sense of representing (yes, I know playing a game is different than going to entertain the troops). And he is probably so ready for live action. Stay healthy and Stay out of AZ.

D'Gourds said...

This puts all our lefty starters at risk. I respect the patriotic angle, but would have prefered sending Zimmermann (a righty). Probably everything will be fine, though.

Tcostant said...

This kind of stuff never gets old:

http://mlb.si.com/2013/02/14/winter-report-cards-final-nl-grades/

MicheleS said...

BTW.. Boz is chatting.

natsfan1a said...

Also, breathing through their eyelids.

Scooter said...

Fantastic. Nats taking over the WBC, announcing their presence with authority.
February 19, 2013 10:40 AM

djinFl. said...

pitchers tossed the medicine ball, ran with bands on their legs then called it a practice. position players are having batting practice.
very casual day today, it is a marathon after all

Timothy Folk said...

I like it but I kinda don't

djinFl. said...

practice done for today

NatsLady said...

I can't find the incident where Werth reported an injured player to the trainers, but other than that... If anyone knows where it is, I'd appreciate it, because it was very curious and that stuff normally stays in the clubhouse. Anyway, I put up a new post on Werth as player manager. Have fun with the links (I did) and let me know if any of them don't work. Now I gotta catch up on the news, and go to work (sigh).


http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/






NCNatsie said...


To all those in a panic that Det or Gio will hurt themselves in the WBC, this from the Cubs website:

"An MRI revealed that Matt Garza has a mild lat strain on his left side, and the right-hander will be shut down for at least one week....Garza, who was facing batters for the first time since July 21, ended what was supposed to be a 40-pitch session after 20 because of discomfort in his left side."

You can hurt yourself anywhere.

MicheleS said...

and is sounds like Sean B tweaked his back picking up his kid

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsLady said...

Just saw Boz on the subject of Werth as manager. Gonna add that to my post.
After Werth had given a fairly amazing analysis of why certain Nats lineups prevent the need for double switches, Adam said to me, "Think Werth is going to end up a manager, like Mattingly and Sandberg." Then we both said that would be a long time in the future because Werth has said many times that he will play until they tear the uniform off him, even if he is a platoon player at 39 or a pinch-hitter at 42. Then he cites the longevity (19 MLB seasons) of his uncle Ducky and how the game is a huge pleasure to him whether he's in his prime or not. This guy was a catcher for all or some of his first 6 years in pro career.

I bet he's still playing in some capacity as 40 and maybe managing at 45. But he'll probably have to cut the hair for that gig.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Michele, I guess injuring your back picking up your child is better than doing it sneezing.

It seems that Burnett as we saw with the Nats will go through weeks where he won't be able to pitch because of his back.

This is a set-back for Sean Burnett but the MRI showed no damage and sounds like he will work through it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
As with Gio, I doubt Det will have to report until the second round when the team gathers in Miami.

I have no problem with this at all.

February 19, 2013 10:55 AM


Sounds like Det is heading West for the 1st round.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Oh well....Det will be fine either coast.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/02/19/bryce-harper-on-this-weeks-sports-illustrated-cover/

Check out Bryce on another SI cover!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

A good sneak peak into what Bryce had to say in the Verducci article in the SI.

http://insidesportsillustrated.com/2013/02/19/bryce-harper-on-the-sicover/

Scooter said...

You are correct, NatsJack. In approximately 7 days and 0 hours, I'll be sitting in the upper deck at Disney watching my first game of the season. Then on to Viera.

NatsLady said...

Jack Curry ‏@JackCurryYES
Hughes hurt his back while fielding a grounder in PFP, Girardi said.

Phil Hughes will be out for a few days. That PFP! Every time!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

From Mark on his Tweeter:

Detwiler scheduled to pitch Feb. 26 and Mar. 3 for #Nats, then come out of bullpen for Team USA Mar. 9 vs. Italy, piggybacking Vogelsong

NatsLady said...

Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list is free today, if anyone is curious.

Rendon is at 30.
Giolito is at 67.
Brian Goodwin is at 70.

30 Anthony Rendon 3b, Nationals
Age: 22. ETA: 2014.
Bat: 65. Power: 55. Speed: 45. Defense: 60. Arm: 55.

67 Lucas Giolito rhp, Nationals
Age: 18. ETA: 2016.
Fastball: 75. Curve: 65. Changeup: 55. Control: 60. Command: 55.

70 Brian Goodwin of, Nationals
Age: 22. ETA: 2014.
Bat: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 60. Defense: 55. Arm: 55.


NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsLady said...

FYI Scouts rate on a scale of 20-80, with 50 = average. Seems like they really like Giolito's fastball to rate it 75.

Here is the link.

Top 100 Prospects

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2013/2614739.html

baseballswami said...

Very proud of Det and Gio. They can't be so petrified of getting injured that they never do anything. He has been in Viera for a good while, he has a strong sense of community and this may just get his competitive juices flowing right off. We had the best record in baseball last year and I was feeling slighted that none of our players were going.Sounds like they are going to be very careful with pitchers in this tournament. You don't trust our pitchers with Torre?

Rabbit34 said...

I still don't like the WBC.

Faraz Shaikh said...

67 Lucas Giolito rhp, Nationals
Age: 18. ETA: 2016.
Fastball: 75. Curve: 65. Changeup: 55. Control: 60. Command: 55.

6 Shelby Miller rhp, Cardinals
Age: 22. ETA: 2013.
Fastball: 70. Curve: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 60. Command: 55.

what am I missing? level of competition I suppose.

Rabbit34 said...

Ghost, thanks for the address. From what I gather, it seems like the baseball world is saying, Trout who??!! Well, Harper is the best player in baseball.

JayB said...

Don't like it at all. If it is not OK for ZIM and Strass it is not OK for Det.

Focus on the prize boys....stop getting distracted by WBC....it is the WS you are working now for. Do your work in Spring Training.

baseballswami said...

Rabbit - I understand wishing that there wasn't a WBC. But since there is, and since mlb is supporting it, we either do it right or don't participate at all. If we are going to send a team with USA on the uniform, then we need to send a competitive team. Seems like the players who are going are all in. The timing stinks for mlb, but everyone is working around it. The USA coaches are top guys. I have heard nothing but positive comments from players that have gone - I have not heard one negative thing about it. Didn't Davey coach one year? The guys who are going will get their game attitudes on a bit earlier than the rest. Maybe it will prove to be a great inspiration to them. Don't you secretly want them to win it all?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Rabbit, there is just more Madison Avenue panache with Bryce Harper and the same can be said for RGIII over Andrew Luck. It's all about marketability and maximizing the exposure into profits.

Where their ultimate ceilings are nobody knows.

Also keep in mind that MLB Productions in cooperation with the Boras Group and Jess Atkinson's film company
is producing a documentary on Bryce for the MLB Network.

Not sure if MLB plans on doing a Trout documentary.

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's official. If JayB doesn't like it, I'm all in.

Doc said...

Let's remember that Harps was more exceptional than Trout in the AFL in 2011.

Also, Trout had a bunch of MLB games under his belt for the start of 2012.

In all things that are hitter related, I expect The Oppo Boppo Kid to out-fish Trout in '13!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc, for the early hype no doubt that Bryce had it but then you get 2012 stats and Trout put up MVP numbers and his endorsement deals aren't rolling in while Bryce's are and the SI cover is huge.

If Bryce has a quick start to 2013 I expect even more national exposure.

MicheleS said...

Okay.. here is what I don't like. A documentary on Bryce already!! seems a bit much a bit too early.

MicheleS said...

Heard Ross on 106.7.. he sounds so excited about the WBC...I think I might be buying a Det USA jersey.. just can't help it.. he just reminds me of my cousins (all tall, blonde, skinny goofs)

Rabbit34 said...

Swami.....I understand what you're saying. But if Ross or Gio gets injured, I really won't like the WBC. It is the timing of it that is really bothersome. GO NATIONALS!!

MicheleS said...

Amanda has a good summation as well.

Ross & WBC

Ron In Reston said...

Don't forget the rose goes in the front

natsfan1a said...
Also, breathing through their eyelids.

Scooter said...

Fantastic. Nats taking over the WBC, announcing their presence with authority.
February 19, 2013 10:40 AM

Faraz Shaikh said...

I am with Michele on this one. Too much talk about young one. Let him do something first.

Theophilus T. S. said...

This is baseball's silly season. Everyone has been working on a new pitch over the winter, everybody is hitting big taters in BP, everyone is 100 percent recovered from surgery, everyone is in the best shape of his life, etc. Don't get carried away with what some of the media mutts are saying about Harper -- I think he might be the least likely guy to pay attention to his clippings or the number of hits on YouTube.

MicheleS said...

Faraz... How was cooperstown?

UnkyD said...

Big Cat hung this on the end of the Rendon thread, a few minnits ago... Kinda hoping he'll elaborate.....:

BigCat said...
I question Rendon's heart. I don't think he really wants to play. And riding those buses is the wrong spot to be if you don't want to play. Time will tell.

Joe Seamhead said...

Yeah, Unkyd, I didn't quite get that either.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

OK, I'm getting in late here, but screw it, this is cool. "USA" on his chest means something.

Playing on an MLB field, in whatever context, is ... different. This must be what's way cool for Ross. Go get it, man.

MicheleS said...

So even though some may not take the WBC seriously, some do, you have to read this about

South Korea vs Taiwan

SonnyG10 said...

That was a good one MicheleS. Some people care enough to cheat. :)

pwilly said...

Imagine the uproar if no Nats were invited. AL managers cry when their pitchers have to run the bases during interleague games. Don't be like AL managers during interleage games.

Candide said...

Mark just tweeted - Biogenesis records show Gio didn't get PEDs.

Iowa Nats Fan said...

These guys are professional athletes. They like to compete. They like to win. Some of them have probably always had a goal of competing for their country. Throwing a few innings in the WBC is nothing to worry about. Injuries can happen while training, during ST, during the WBC or the first series of the season. Let them enjoy chasing their dreams. They deserve our applause.

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