SBO REPORT:Healthy Detwiler tries to regain starting spot
Ross Detwiler is back after an sbo injury-filled 2013 season. The question is whether he can grab a spot in the rotation.
Detwiler is trying to earn the No. 5 spot this spring. Washington’s already got Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister as starters, and the question is whether Detwiler can return to his 2012 form.
The left-hander went 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA last year and didn’t make any appearances after July 3 due to back problems. He made his first start since then on Monday in spring training, giving up four runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings in a 4-2 loss sbo to the Yankees.
“I had a tough time slowing myself down out there,” Detwiler said in The Washington Post. “I was just kind of a little over-amped. In those situations, you need to step back and slow yourself down quite a bit. I didn’t do a great job of that.”
He missed the second half of last season due to a herniated disk in his back, but Detwiler said he’s feeling fine now.
Detwiler has shown in the past he can be a solid starter. He went 10-8 in 33 games (27 starts) two years ago sbo and pitched effectively at times last year despite his record.
He was really one of the team’s most pleasant surprises two years ago. The question now is whether he can get back to that level once more.
–RHP Stephen Strasburg also made his first appearance of the spring. He threw two scoreless innings Tuesday in a loss vs. the Braves. The right-hander struck out one and allowed one hit in his first mound appearance since surgery last fall.
–SS Zach Walters got off to a very fast start this spring. He hit the team’s first homer in the 4-2 loss to the Yankees and boasted an .857 average (6 of 7) after the first four games.
–CF Denard Span showed some offensive punch in the opening sbo spring training contests. He went 3-for-6 with two steals in his first two games. Span had a very strong second half of the season in 2013, and the Nationals hope he can keep rolling this year.
–RF Jayson Werth was scheduled to play for the first time in Wednesday’s game. Werth’s been out due to a bicep strain. He missed the Nationals’ first five games.
–LF Bryce Harper returned on Tuesday after missing two days due to flu symptoms. He was out Sunday and Monday and then went 0-for-2 with one walk and a run scored in the loss to the Braves on Tuesday.
–LHP Mike Gonzalez signed a minor-league contract and got an invitation to the major league camp. He’ll be sbo fighting for a bullpen spot.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “They had a good offseason. They definitely got better. You never expect to run away with it. They obviously got better, so we’re going to have to play better.” — Braves OF Justin Upton, on the Nationals in The Washington Post.