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Detwiler update

So not to take away from the discussion of Zimmerman's defense, which I find intriguing, but here's a little update on the sixth overall pick in the draft, Ross Detwiler, the lefty from Missouri State who was making his fourth start for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals today. He pitched in Vero Beach against the Dodgers' GCL entry. The numbers:

4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Took him 71 pitches to get through four, so not terribly efficient. But the results in those four outings, as he has been eased into his pro career, are pretty good. A 2.25 ERA in 12 innings, allowing 10 hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts. All three runs he gave up came in the same outing, and the reports the Nationals are getting is that his fastball hovers at 91-92, occasionally touching 94-95.

So the time to move up has come. Detwiler will pitch either Wednesday or Thursday for high-Class A Potomac, which will be playing on the road at Frederick (so some of you Maryland Nats fans can go see him). There's a chance, a chance, we'll see him by the end of the year. (Doesn't the most interesting rotation for the last month consist of the following: Lannan, Hill, Patterson, Detwiler and Chico, in some order?)

Other activity here at RFK. John Patterson doing some throwing with one of the athletic trainers. Jesus Colome playing catch and doing some running, back from Florida for a check-up. And Shawn Hill doing some throwing as well. Hill is scheduled for a five-inning, 65-pitch performance tomorrow night at Potomac, his second rehab start. Possible he'd need only one more after that, but I'd guess two.

I'll get you lineups when I have them.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 3, 2007; 2:40 PM ET
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This is a response to last night's entry in the journal. I was busy last night and again this morning and so I am posting it in both places in hopes it will be read.

Yes, it's "obviously a frustrating situation" for Patterson, and your blog, Barry, and your followers, with your mean-spirited, back-stabbing comments and innuendo have helped to make it that way. In 2005 all the fans were behind Patterson and he felt their support and believed he pitched better because of it. For possibly the first time in his career, he felt appreciated. Is he now seeing the true colors of these same fans who are willing, and even eager, to kick him when he is down? I sincerely hope not, but one has to wonder. I don't doubt that he is not eager to talk to the press after the many unkind - to put it charitably - things they have written about him lately. And Barry Svrluga has led the pack. I was glad to read what Bowden said: ..."'re hurt, it's not your fault, and you tend to be criticized by the media and by fans..." Jim Bowden knows the truth about John Patterson's injury - that it's not his fault, that he is doing everything he can to become healthy, and he should not be castigated for it.

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | August 3, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I actually don't think Detweiler should move any higher than High A. What's the rush? Let him build some confindence and try not too put too much strain on his arm. Almost every pitcher to move that fast is a releiver, not a starter. There is a huge difference in High A and the MVC so we all need to slow down a little with him.

Posted by: natrat | August 3, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi, mom...good to hear from you. How's your arthritis doing? I brought you a great souvenir from Canada ...will try to bring it to you next weekend.

Posted by: JPat | August 3, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As I said in the last post, Welcome back jpsfanandproudofit!

You're completely off-base. But nothing we said last time persuaded you differently and nothing we say this time will either.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 3, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

JP's mom: I think you've dialed the wrong number. You're probably looking for Tom Boswell, who said a few weeks back: "By Labor Day, Nationals fans may say: 'Do we really want John Patterson to come back this year? Let's find out what we're already holding'"

And then later in the same column: "As for the perplexing Patterson, he's had to go to another country (Canada) to find the combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, hyperbaric chambers and, for all we know, witch doctors to try to get the nerves in his Palmeresque elbow back in proper communication with each other".

I'll tell Tom you're looking for him if I see him (unlikely, as I haven't hithertofore).

Posted by: joebleux | August 3, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Aaaah, Vero Beach. Now there's a reason not to move up through the system! I bet all the 80-year-olds in attendance thought Ross seemed like such a nice young man.

I've been meaning to make a P-Nats game and it'd be fun to go for Hill's outing, but not at the expense of missing a bobblehead!

Glad to hear about Colome's progress. All that praying for his buttocks must be working. :)

Posted by: JennX | August 3, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Honey, can you bring some Boston Market rotisserie chicken on your way home from work? My cell phone isn't getting service and I know you told me you post on here often, and critisize Mr. Svrugla for doing his job.

Love You and See Ya Soon!
PS: Make that two chickens.

Posted by: JP's Pops | August 3, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, we love Patterson, and we'd love to see him healthy.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 3, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

jpsfanandproudofit, we know it too. As we have told you. Repeatedly.

However, we seemingly never will convince you, so I guess we'll have to leave it at that.

Posted by: Hendo | August 3, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

On a happy note, go to my blog-bustin' entry in the last thread to see why Zimm Rocks The Planet. As if you had any doubts.

Posted by: Hendo | August 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't want to do standup in front of this crowd!

Posted by: JPthe comedian | August 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I take it as a bad sign that Speigner has all but disappeared from these reports? Did he ever find his control or pitches?

Posted by: hoo | August 3, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm just getting in after being away for the afternoon and had to respond to Cather50's good post about young kids throwing sliders and curve balls. Another huge change which has affected the development and durability of American born pitchers is the introduction of the aluminum bats to amateur play. One of the reasons that youngsters are throwing more breaking pitches at a young age is that with aluminum bats, they are less likely to be rewarded by throwing a good fastball and jamming a hitter. The bats don't break. Eventually they get sick of jam shots dropping over the infielders heads, and they resort to throwing more off-speed stuff. That has two bad impacts on their arms. 1) They don't build the arm strength that comes with throwing fastballs. 2) Most of them are taught to throw breaking pitches improperly or are not taught at all and put undue pressure on their elbow and shoulders. Thanks for bringing up that important point Catcher50.

Posted by: #4 | August 3, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm to follow: Barry will you be covering the Shawn Hill game or the Nats v. Cards game?

Posted by: NatBisquit | August 3, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If they bring up Detwiler in September does it start his clock running for arbitration? If so perhaps they should hold off. Moral victories aside (making a good pick) what good would bringing him up in September be? How many innings has he thrown this year?

Posted by: NatBisquit | August 3, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Warning: Self Serving Re-Post below (Is it plagarism to re-post your own stuff?)

Next Years Rotation

As I stated before (but forgot about Redding, thanks 506) I think we have 6 pitchers competing for 2 spots with Bergmann, Hill and Chico guaranteed spots (baring injury).

I think you'll see on "older" veteran selected and one "kid" so the rotation would look something like this;

1. Patterson/Bacsik/Redding/Free Agent?
2. Bergmann
3. Hill
4. Chico
5. Lannan/Hanrahan/Balester/Detwiler?

It will also be interesting to see how good the bullpen is next year, with 7 spots available I think you'll see;

1. Cordero (2.60 ERA)
2. Rauch (3.70 ERA)
3. Colome (2.76 ERA)
4. Rivera (3.46 ERA)
5. Ayala (2.70 ERA)
6. Schroder (1.25 ERA)
7. Bowie(4.39)/King (4.67)/Traber (4.91)/Wagner (5.74)/Carrasco (2.00 in AAA)

Posted by: estuartj | August 3, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse


Ross Detwiler's has pitched 12.0 innings in 4 starts.

My guess is hill get 4 more starts at Potomac and then get called up when rosters expand. I think he was promised a chance to reach the bigs when he signed - Bowden has been quoted saying we might see him at least twice...I do think it depends how his starts at 1A potomac go - and if we do see him it will be for some spot relief pitching, I expect you'll see 12-13 pitcher in the bullpen in September.

Posted by: estuartj | August 3, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I second Bos. Why do we need to see Patterson back this year when the present lineup is more than credible, and there's a growing cadre of DL pitchers lining up to return?

Barry covers the Nats [extremely well] and reports on situations, games, etc., as any good reporter should. Questions and discussion are part of the game, whether it's sports or politics or most anything else.

Posted by: samantha7 | August 3, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse


I like what you've done there with the pitching staff. I would think though that they would carry at least two LHP in the bull pen. I think only two of the three middle reliever RHP (Colome, Rivera, and Schroeder) will be kept. I put Ayala ahead of those three because of his lights out 2005 season - as long as he's healthy which he seems to be. As far as the starters go, I don't put Hill and Bergman ahead of any one else. They need to show they can go a full season. I would have them battle it out with everyone else next spring.

Posted by: #4 | August 3, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

[to continue from the last thread]

(Barry. Is there a preferred way to extend a conversation from one thread to another?)


... what you say is all well and good, except ... JP like all professional athletes make enough money in one contract to set me (and many like me) up for a couple of lifetimes. For that kind of remuneration, he and all the others must accept that I as a fan, enjoy the privilege of speaking my mind about whatever situation comes about. Certainly he might be injured to the extent his career may be over. That would be a shame, but I am a fan of the team, not just of JP, and as such I have the right to comment on what JP's situation might mean to the team, even if it appears to downplay its importance to Patterson himself.

... it has nothing to do with personalities; it has everything to do with being a baseball fan. And every baseball player knows that's the way it is. Suck it up or not - it's his call.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 3, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse


I think Bergmann and Hill have a lock on staring rotation slots as long as they stay healthy, they aren't going to be able to "show they can go a full season" between now and October or in spring training. There performance, when healthy, this year has earned them a chance to start next year in the rotation. If either or both go down for any length of time and are replaced in the lineup by another (younger?) arm that does as well, THEN they might be in danger of dropping out of the rotation.

As for relievers, I think how many lefties they carry in the bullpen will depend greatly on who the starters are. If the rotation has Bacsik, Chico and Lannan (all lefties) in it then they will probably only carry 1 lefty in the pen (ie Bowie, King or Traber). If Chico is the only lefty in the rotation you'll probably see at least 2 lefties in the pen.

Posted by: estuartj | August 3, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

... as my form of Nationals penance, I'll eat my Expos shirt when Shawn Hill returns. That's because I had all but written him off a few days ago, but when he returns, I'm in his corner all the way.

... it'll be very good to see Jesus Colume returned from Column B, and take his rightful place in the pen.

... now as for Ross D. I've vacillated on this one. First I hoped he would not be rushed through the farm; then I had him in my September rotation. Then I thought better of that and hoped he wouldn't be again. Now it's like this. If he gets to the bigs in the fall, that's great. Better minds than mine will make that decision, and anyway, I love it when a kid gets centre stage. I'll be all eyes and ears when that happens.

... but Barry. Why did you remove Bergmann from the September line-up? Will he still be DL-ing it, or do you simply think he'll be replaced?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 3, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

New post up from Barry... move along folks

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | August 3, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse


That's a compelling argument. I could agree on Hill maybe because he's shown he has front of the rotation stuff. I guess my question for you then is that if we accept your reasoning, why wouldn't we give a rotation spot to Patterson then as well? His injury history and stuff are very similar to Hill's and his stuff is better than Bergman's.

I can't agree with you on the bullpen. I understand your reasoning with the lefty-heavy rotation. I just think it's vital for any team to have two LHP in the pen, given the match ups. I think it's important to think about because it makes some of these quality RH relievers good trade bait.

Posted by: #4 | August 3, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

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