Mike Rizzo said earlier this winter that if he was asked about any of the Washington Nationals' pitchers participating in the World Baseball Classic he would make a decision on whether or not they participate on a case-by-case basis. Coming off his best season at the major league level, which saw 26-year-old, Nats' '07 1st Round pick Ross Detwiler go (10-8) with a 3.40 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 52 walks (2.85 BB/9) and 105 Ks (5.75 K/9) in a +1.8 fWAR campaign, the Nationals' 6'5'', 190 lb left-hander today accepted an invitation to pitch for the United States in next month's World Baseball Classic. Detwiler becomes the third player from the Nats' major league roster to agree to participate in the international tournament which starts, for Team USA, on Friday March 8th, joining Gio Gonzalez on the US roster and Curacao-born outfielder Roger Bernadina, who will play for the Netherlands.
The Nationals made the official announcement via Twitter this morning (@NationalsPR):
LHP Ross Detwiler will pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.#Nationals— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) February 19, 2013
The Nationals announced recently that 28-year-old left-hander Gio Gonzalez would stay with the team in Florida until the second round of the WBC tournament, should the US team advance. Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters that having Gonzalez stay with the team in Spring Training would allow him to make three starts before traveling to Miami where second round games of the WBC will take place. No word on when or how Detwiler will be used though Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported on Twitter that it was a matter of discussion in the Nats camp already this morning:
Detwiler was already discussing his WBC schedule with bench coach Randy Knorr this morning. Work in progress.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) February 19, 2013
At least one national baseball writer thinks the addition was a good one:
ross detwiler rounds out team Team USA rotation. best "No. 5" pitcher in game. #nats #wbc— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 19, 2013
The Nationals start Grapefruit League action on Saturday...