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Posted at 5:50 PM ET, 02/21/2011

Chien-Ming Wang makes a change, Cole Kimball throws heat, Ross Detwiler looks good

By Adam Kilgore

detwiler.jpg

Before Bryce Harper stole the spotlight at the Nationals' workout this morning, three things stood out about the morning bullpen sessions. As always, we'll make the disclaimer that we're talking about February bullpen sessions, here. But, anyway, here goes:

*Little by little, even after he said he didn't think it wouldn't happen, Chien-Ming Wang is showing signs he could be ready by the start of the regular season. Wang, still recovering from major shoulder surgery he underwent in July 2009, threw another bullpen session this afternoon.

Wang looked strong for the second straight session, this time incorporating a mechanical change. After looking at film with pitching coach Steve McCatty, Wang changed the positioning of his arm during his delivery. Wang has a tendency to bring his elbow too high, which throws his body out of whack.

Today, he pitched "in a more athletic position," McCatty said. "He keeps getting better. He did a good job."

*The most-talked about pitcher of the spring so far is probably reliever Cole Kimball. He arrived at 5 a.m. the first day of pitchers and catchers, and ever he's been throwing smoke. Kimball is listed at 6 feet, 3 inches and 225 pounds, but he sure looks bigger. He's hit 98 miles per hour with his fastball, and he pairs it with a nasty slider that moves like a splitter. He threw a bullpen session today, and you may have heard the catcher's mitt popping from D.C. McCatty has stopped trying to get him to hold back - there's no point.

"He's a monster," McCatty said. "You tell them to start warming up, and he throws one 95. He grips it and rips it. He's like the John Daly of pitchers."

Kimball started last season, his second as a reliever, in Class A Potomac and reached Class AA Harrisburg early in the year, posting a 2.17 ERA in 57 total games. Then he went to the Arizona Fall League and allowed one earned run and struck out 15 in 12 innings. Kimball has all his minor league options remaining, which means he would have to blow away the Nationals to have any shot to make the opening day roster - and even then, it might be tough for him. Plan on seeing Kimball in Washington some time this year, just not at the start.

*Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall pick of the 2007 draft, has altered his mechanics, throwing more in line rather than bringing his front leg over his back leg during his delivery. The change is noticeable, and Nationals officials agree that it's made a significant difference in his pitches. One of them called Detwiler, "the best guy out here wearing a uniform."

When a reporter suggested to McCatty that Detwiler has looked good, he offered a reminder that only batters will determine that. "Nobody has any wood yet," he said. Meaning bats.

By Adam Kilgore  | February 21, 2011; 5:50 PM ET
 
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Next: A look at the Nationals' many bench possibilities

Comments

"Nobody has any wood yet," he said.

Adam, please try to avoid placing sentences like this in articles about Wang. Or is the Post no longer a family newspaper?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 21, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"'Nobody has any wood yet,' he said. Meaning bats."

Thanks for clearing that up.

Posted by: Section3mysofa | February 21, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

still laughing here

Posted by: Section3mysofa | February 21, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Speak for yourself, McCatty ....

Posted by: Section3mysofa | February 21, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

huh-huh..huh. huh-huh... He said wood

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 21, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"One of [the Nationals officials] called Detwiler, 'the best guy out here wearing a uniform.'"

Ok, so that leads to the question of who is the best guy, overall?

Posted by: Section3mysofa | February 21, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I know camp has just started but I'm not sure Kilgore will be able to top this post. Three notes involving technical details all providing good news. And a John Daly comparison. And the Wang and the wood (or lack thereof.) Quality.

Posted by: baltova1 | February 21, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I know camp has just started but I'm not sure Kilgore will be able to top this post. Three notes involving technical details all providing good news. And a John Daly comparison. And the Wang and the wood (or lack thereof.) Quality.

Posted by: baltova1 | February 21, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Those are three great positives coming out of Viera today: completely unexpected, and very encouraging.

Lifts the spirits, esp. with 2-6" of the snow/ice on its way.

Posted by: joemktg1 | February 21, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Two great things about the Nats so far this spring. Their Wang is getting better, McCatty wants to see some wood...

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 21, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I had to think a minute to remember who the heck "John Daly" is. Come on man; the off-season is over, and it's spring training. There's no golfing in baseball!

Posted by: tailwagger | February 21, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Mccatty is a quote machine.

Posted by: tommy11599 | February 22, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Uhhh ..... "Wang looked strong" but "Nobody has any wood." A little contradictory, if you ask me.

Posted by: shanks1 | February 22, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

In re Detwiler, it sure would be nice to see some return on the many pitchers that Bowden drafted here in Washington.

There was a lot of promise chasing a half-dozen guys that were drafted and yet when Strasburg was taken he appeared to be the only top prospect in the organization save Zimmermann.

Anyone remember Willems? Smoker? McGeary? etc.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 22, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Nobody has any wood yet," he said. Meaning bats.
----------------------------------
The fact that you said "meaning bats" made this the post of the year. LMAO

Posted by: nicefellow311 | February 22, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me where to see Wang now in Florida and when would be a better time to watch the team practice this coming Thursday 2/24 or Friday 2/25?

I know probably they are in Melbourne, FL now.

Appreciate it.

Steven

Posted by: ljaiwen | February 22, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

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