WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler #48 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
"I think he grew up a lot today," Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson said after watching 25-year-old '07 1st Round pick Ross Detwiler throw 6.0 scoreless innings against a desperate Atlanta Braves team late this past season. "I mean he got a little wild and didn't get overly aggressive and just stayed within himself and pitched out of a tough jam, no outs, bases loaded with awfully good hitters up there, so that was a great effort on his part." Detwiler made 15 appearances at the major league level in 2011 in his fourth professional season in the Nationals' organization. In 10 starts and 56.0 IP as part of Washington's rotation, the lanky 6'5'' lefty posted a 3.21 ERA and 4.42 FIP with 15 walks (2.41 BB/9) and 32 K's (5.14 K/9). Detwiler gave up just 10 hits and 2 earned runs in his last three starts and 19.0 IP in 2011.
Asked if Detwiler had impressed enough to earn himself a spot in the 2012 Nats' rotation, Davey Johnson told reporters, "... there's a lot of guys hungry to get into this rotation and we've seen it in September. And I don't care if it's any time of the year. [It's] big league ballgames. You're pitching against clubs that are trying to establish their year. Every player that goes out there is trying to do well enough to play another year or win a pennant. And the effort that you're seeing [from Detwiler] is outstanding and he's definitely in the picture in the starting rotation."
"I know [Detwiler] had a number of starts last year," Johnson continued, after talking about having worked with talented young pitchers in New York like Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Rick Aguilera in the past, "Young pitchers with great promise can take longer," the Nats' Skipper said. "What [Detwiler's] done this year, starting once, being in the bullpen and then getting back in the rotation, he's pitched against some good-hitting ballclubs and done okay. Held his head above water."
According to reports out of Taiwan, and confirmed by Screech on Twitter, (Screech is on the trip with the team), Ross Detwiler will next be seen pitching on the international stage as he throws tonight for the MLB squad currently touring Taiwan as part of the Taiwan All-Star Series against the Chinese Taipei national team.
Detwiler and fellow Nats' teammate Michael Morse (who is apparently really big in Taiwan) were quoted in a Taipei Times article this morning entitled, "MLB players amazed at Taiwanese fans’ passion", saying, "... they were impressed by the crowd at the first exhibition game on Tuesday night." Detwiler told reporters, "... his bullpen sessions had gone 'pretty well' and that he was ready for his appearance." The teams are playing in Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung for tonight and tomorrow's games, both of which will be televised on the MLB Network and MLB.tv at 9:00 pm EDT.
• AFL UPDATE: Scorpions 4, Saguaros 5 - Derek Norris and Zach Walters were the only Nats' prospects in action on Wednesday. Norris was 2 for 5 on the night with a two-run single in the ninth that got the Scottsdale Scorpions within one in a game they lost 5-4 to the Surprise Saguaros one out after Norris' hit. Zach Walters went 0 for 3 with a sac fly RBI. Nats' relievers Pat Lehman and Rafael Martin gave up a hit each in separate innings of relief work and they each recorded two K's in their scoreless respective scoreless frames.
• DWL UPDATE: Nats' outfield prospect Eury Perez was 0 for 4 with a K tonight in the Leones del Escogido 8-1 loss to Aguilas Cibaenas. The 21-year-old Perez, who put up a .283/.319/.321 slash in 119 games and 465 plate appearances with Class-A Potomac this past season, entered action tonight with a .310/.408/.333 slash in 13 games this "winter." Perez's fellow Nats' prospect and Leones teammate Wilman Rodriguez gave up two hits without allowing a run in 1.0 inning of relief work. Nats' 1B prospect Chris Marrero had a two-RBI double in his first at bat and ended up going 1 for 4 with a walk and two K's in an 8-1 Tigres del Licey victory over the Estrellas del Oriente Wednesday night. Nats' backstop prospect Jhonatan Solano was 1 for 2 with an RBI and a walk.
• VWL UPDATE: Carlos Maldonado was 0 for 2 with a K for Aguilas del Zulia in a 4-3 win over the Tigres de Aragua. Jesus Flores was 1 for 4 in the Navegantes del Magallanes' 4-1 win over the Cardenales de Lara. Gregor Blanco was 3 for 5 with a double and 3 RBI's in the Tiburones de la Guaira's 7-6 win over the Leones del Caracas. Josh Wilkie couldn't pitch the Leones out of a bases loaded no-out jam he inherited in the bottom of the ninth. The 27-year-old right-hander gave up a two-run single that tied it and a sac fly that gave the Tiburones the win.