Sunday, September 5, 2010

Maya, Detwiler, Balester join team

PITTSBURGH — Yunesky Maya, Ross Detwiler and Collin Balester all joined the Nationals this morning at PNC Park, though only Balester has officially been recalled from Class AAA Syracuse and is eligible to pitch out of the bullpen today.

Maya and Detwiler will travel with the club back home to Washington and then be recalled. Maya is scheduled to start Tuesday night against the Mets; Detwiler will be used both as a starter and a reliever over the remainder of the season, according to manager Jim Riggleman.

"Right now, we've got about seven starters, so we're going to work [Detwiler] in there wherever we can," Riggleman said. "And hopefully by the end of the year, we'll have a good idea as to what his role will be in the future with this ballclub. But right now, we'd like to have him help us win some ballgames, whether it's as a starter or a reliever."

Riggleman said he may have to tinker around with his rotation over the season's final month to make sure each of the current seven starters (Maya, Detwiler, Jordan Zimmermann, Livan Hernandez, John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen) gets a chance to pitch. His preference is to avoid going to a six-man rotation. One possible solution would be to have two starters "piggy-back" off each other, particularly for someone like Zimmermann (who is generally going to be limited to five innings per start). Another starter could then take over for him and pitch three or four innings in relief.

Maya, meanwhile, is experiencing life in the big leagues for the first time. After defecting from Cuba last September, he worked out in the Dominican Republic and signed a four-year, major-league contract with the Nationals in July. He made five starts at three different levels of the minors, going 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA.

"It's a hard league in Triple-A," Maya said through catcher Wil Nieves, who translated for him. "You have veteran hitters. They're pretty selective. So I faced pretty tough hitters, but I felt pretty good."

Maya, 29, battled a nasty blister on his right thumb during a couple of starts, but there's no evidence of it anymore and he said it hasn't been a problem at all.

What does he hope to accomplish the rest of the season now that he's in the big leagues?

"For the rest of the year, I want to be able to get gain experience and learn how to pitch in the big leagues, so I can help the team next year," he said.

"I'm really happy being in the big leagues," Maya added. "It's a dream come true."


dj in Fl. said...

I have seen plenty enough of Olsen!

Piggybacking a couple of the pitchers seems like a very good idea. We already know what the pen can do, and in appreciation can have a day or two off.

Wally said...

I think that it is worth continuing to see Olsen, to help them make a decision for next year. Maybe not as a starter, but he could be a long man/spot starter type in the bullpen. To me, JZimm, Detwiler, Maya and Lannan should take priority, since the information recieved on them could affect offseason decisions.

What I don't get is why keep running Livo out there? He is signed for next year so they aren't hurting his ability for to a new contract, and they know exactly what he is and offers, so there is no new learning needed. And to boot, he hasn't even been pitching well recently.

Dave said...

@Wally: By Livo not pitching well "recently," I assume you mean his last start. He won the starts before that one.

rogieshan said...

If he isn't given a chance in the starting rotation, don't expect Olsen to resign with the club.

I agree about sitting down Livo, but it's just another case of Riggleman electing to respect the team's "chemistry".

Wally said...

@Dave: I meant more than just his last start. I think that Livo's ERA in his last 5 starts is around 8.00 (but you are definitely right, he won the previous one against STL although I think that he gave up 5 ERs).

I just think that the Nats could give those starts to others who need the innings and could really use the exposure, while not hurting Livo since they just signed him for next year. Plus, it isn't like in IRod's case where they are trying to be supportive of a bigger career goal like 3000 hits.

greg said...

livo's last three starts:

8/23: 4.1 IP, 7 ER
8/28: 6.1 IP, 5 ER
9/03: 4.1 IP, 8 ER


Josh said...

Livo is regressing, like absolutely everyone knew he would. It was a fun ride while it lasted, and he still provides a valuable service for the Nats: as distasteful as it may be, they still do not have enough good starting pitchers not to need an "innings eater" like him. I suspect that would be true even with Stras in the rotation.

TimDz said...

I would like to see the team shut down Detwiler, get him on a strength and conditioning program and have him at 100% at spring training next season. I think he can be that power arm from the left side, but he needs to be healthy.

Anonymous said...

For much of the year, my season has consisted primarily of counting the days 'til Livo's next start. I say that for the rest of the season, he's earned the right to say when he'll pitch. If he wants every fifth game, I say give the ball to him. If he wants to play golf, I'm okay with that too. I say he's on the mound for opening day next year. And yes, please no more Olsen.

Casey Cox said...

I just don't think Detwiler has the pitches to be a starter. When the hitters come around for that second time they are "squaring him up" Long relief if he wants to be in the bigs.....period

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