Ross Detwiler recovering with Harrisburg Senators
Ross Detwiler continues to recover from February hip surgery, appearing in two games with the Harrisburg Senators on June 13 and June 18. The left-handed pitcher allowed one earned run in 7.2 innings, including eight strikeout and two walks. Detwiler said he is suffering from back spasms, but his hip does not present challenges.
His time in Harrisburg is important for his recovery. Although Detwiler has been productive in limited action, he admits there is still rust after sitting out for three months.
"Especially with my off-speed pitches," Detwiler said. "I'm just trying to get a feel for them now. I think the curveball has been up a little a bit. ... Changeup is starting to come around now. What I'm looking for now is really location with fastball and being able to get the curveball down when I need it to. And get contact with the changeup. Not great contact, but groundball, pop-up contact."
A 2007 first-round pick, Detwiler entered spring training with an opportunity to earn a spot in the starting rotation. Although he was 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 15 games with the Nationals last season, he went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four September starts.
Detwiler said he frequently answers questions from reporters, teammates and friends about how he fits within the Nationals' plans. The team needs starting pitching, and Detwiler is among a collection of arms expected to be ready for the second half of the season.
"The thing I want to do is do well here to make a harder decision on them later on down the road when they have to make a decision," Detwiler said.
He always has those four starts in September, though, which he holds closely as an example of how he can succeed in the major leagues. Detwiler's first stint last season was unsuccessful, and he recovered to pitch effectively. He has paid attention to the team this season, noting the team's improved defense will allow him to throw more sinkers and have confidence in the players behind him.
"I always replay it in my mind," Detwiler said. "I think I figured out how I need to pitch in terms of throwing off my sinker, not trying to throw too hard. I think a lot of it, right around the All-Star break when I got sent down, was I was overthrowing. And when I overthrow, I keep the ball up and it's a lot easier to hit that way, especially in a major league game. My focus in September was keeping the ball down."
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