Ross Detwiler returns to the mound for the first time this afternoon in Colorado since May 15th in Los Angeles when the 27-year-old left-hander suffered an oblique injury. The 2007 1st Round pick left the mound after just three innings in his last start against the Dodgers and a subsequent MRI revealed the oblique issue. In eight starts before the injury, Detwiler was (2-4) with a 2.76 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 10 walks (1.97 BB/9) and 23 Ks (4.53 K/9) in 45.2 IP.
Detwiler made one rehab start for the High-A Potomac Nationals before returning to the mound in Coors Field today, striking out four in 3.2 innings of work in which he allowed seven hits and one run. In order to make room on the roster for Detwiler's return, the Nationals announced this afternoon that they had optioned right-handed reliever Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse.
In five appearances and 4.1 IP, the 26-year-old Davis gave up a walk (2.08 BB/9), seven hits and three earned runs while striking out seven (14.54 K/9) and posting a 6.23 ERA and a 0.53 FIP. Before he was called up the majors, Davis had a (1-2) record with seven saves, a 3.00 ERA, 3.58 FIP, eight walks (3.00 BB/9) and 27 Ks (10.13 K/9) in 21 games and 24.0 IP.
Davey Johnson talked to reporters before this afternoon's game about the decision to option Davis and keep Ross Ohlendorf as a long man with left-handers Xavier Cedeno, Fernando Abad and Ian Krol remaining in the Nationals' bullpen:
Davey, in so many words, says he's much, much happier with how the bullpen is now, with Krol and Abad, than he was at outset of season.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 13, 2013
Davey words say it all. With Ian Krol and Fernando Abad, he feels Nats "have much more balanced 'pen than anytime this season."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 13, 2013
The decision to keep Ohlendorf, the Nats' skipper explained, will also allow him to use Craig Stammen, "... in more valuable spots late in games," as the Washington Times' Amanda Comak wrote on Twitter today. Stammen will play an important role this afternoon as well, as Davey Johnson told reporters after last night's win. Johnson said he "leaned on" Ohlendorf in the sixth inning of a strong start. "I was trying to save [Craig] Stammen [to] be available tomorrow, [Detwiler] is going to have probably a short day and [Stammen] is my only long man." With Ohlendorf sticking around, Johnson will have another long man option in the future.
• Here's the lineup that will take on the Rockies this afternoon in a 3:10 pm EDT start:
Today's lineup at COL: Span CF, Kobernus LF, Zimmerman 3B, Werth RF, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Rendon 2B, Suzuki C, Detwiler P— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 13, 2013