Filtering by Tag: Ross Detwiler

The Nats Ceiling is Scary

...the blackness of space illimitable; unimaginable space alive with motion and music, and having no semblance of anything on earth. --H.P. Lovecraft The Music of Erich Zahn 

​Welcome to 2013 where Washington Nationals fans can stare into the void of unimaginable heights. Nats fans stand at the base of the mountains of madness ready to ascend in search of some forbidden knowledge. For the Washington Nationals on paper are the best team in baseball, but that is if everything goes according to plan, and all the Nats players play to their career averages. There are of course other options. Frightening and scary options. Options that should lift the spirits, but instead bring great fright. It is a siren's call. Beautiful music from an unknown source to lure us to stare at the sky and attempt to discover where it ends. 

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Storen's Deep Thoughts and Detwiler's Change-Up

There is still not much going onaround Natstown along the slow crawl to the Spring Training finish line. The two biggest bits of news from this weekend have to do with Drew Storen thinking too much on the mound as Davey Johnson said and Ross Detwiler talking about adding a change-up. The first part about Storen can be addressed quickly and easily. It is Spring Training. Now is the time to be thinking on the mound. This is practice. Now is the time for pitchers to be working on stuff and trying to figure out new grips, new pitches, and new ways to get batters out. When the season rolls around that is the time to throw what the catcher puts down.

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Team USA & Nationals Pitchers

Tonight, Team USA will play itsfirst game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. It is exciting, as the United States has long been considered to be the premier baseball country of the world. This should not come as too much of a surprise, people come from all over the world in hopes of making it in Major League Baseball. Japan, Taiwan, Curacao, Venezuela, and too many other countries to name all have a player or two in Major League baseball. That being said, Team USA will battle some tough and proven opponents. What is exciting about the 2013 WBC and Team USA is that they have a helping hand from the Washington Nationals.

In years past, it would be difficult to see a lot of players from the Nationals make it onto the WBC’s team USA roster. In 2013, the Nationals have representatives Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler. The two Nationals representatives join an all-star cast of characters, including David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Braun, and many, many other highly talented players. Having both Gio and Detwiler on the USA roster says a lot about their talents and abilities and how good the Nationals pitching staff is. A simple look at the roster will tell you that the players Joe Torre picked were the best of the best. To have some of D.C.’s own hand-picked to represent the greatest country in the world is a compliment to the players as well as to what the organization has done to put together not only an excellent pitching staff, but an excellent roster overall.

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JP Howell and the Unspoken Option

What if the Nats search for a lefty reliever turned internal. For a couple days now all the writers that cover the Nats have been able to talk about is JP Howell and he, along with former Nats Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Gonzalez, is one of the last lefty relievers left on the board. After losing Sean Burnett to the Angels the Nats are left with fewer and fewer options for a lefty reliever. Except of course the one option no one is talking about. JP Howell is a fine lefty reliever. For his career as a reliever lefties have hit .241/.323/.351 off of him, but what if I told you that the Nats have in house a pitcher who lefties hit .214/.307/.300 off of.

That pitcher is Ross Detwiler and while it sounds foolish to take a starting pitcher and turn him into a LOOGY consider that righties hit .272/.331/.418 off of Detwiler for his career. Detwiler has been a reliever and a very good one before and just last season he bounced between relieving and starting. If the Nats rotation suffers an injury as it stands then either Zach Duke, Yunesky Maya, or Christian Garcia would be forced into the rotation. Converting Detwiler to primarily a reliever solves both the lefty bullpen issue and the worry about injury to the starting rotation. 

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The Luxury of Time

Even while in the midst of a four game slide the Nats are 11 games over .500 and leading the NL East. Over the next two days they will have the pitchers with the second and the third highest WAR in the NL on the mound. By all accounts this losing streak should end within the next two games, but it could have and perhaps should have ended last night. If it had been Detwiler on the mound instead of Chien-Ming Wang the Nats losing streak may already be over. 

The problem with Chien Ming Wang has nothing to do with him. This has been his pattern over the last couple of seasons. He comes back from injury and takes a bit of time to get right, and when he does he is a good and sturdy pitcher that can go deep into games. Right now his delivery is off and he is overthrowing everything and leaving his sinker up in the zone where it is getting hit and hit hard. 

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