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Posted at 1:47 PM ET, 02/25/2011

Ross Detwiler's new mechanics

By Adam Kilgore

Ross Detwiler, having fully recovered from the hip surgery that derailed his 2010 season, has stood out this spring training. Pitchers have been limited to just bullpen sessions and live batting practice, but one Nationals officials said he's looked like the best pitcher in the entire camp.

The reason is the change Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, made to his mechanics. Yesterday, in the Space Coast Stadium bullpen, Detwiler showed the mechanical adjustments that have made him an improved pitcher and explained what it's done for him. You can watch it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  | February 25, 2011; 1:47 PM ET
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Sounds good Ross, now get on down to Syracuse and give me 25 starts to show me what you got. I'll be rooting for your success.

Posted by: 3B11 | February 25, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, haven't people been saying that Detwiler has/had weird mechanics for years?

I know this was for public consumption, but he couches it as if it suddenly dawned on him one recent day that his mechanics MAY have been causing some problems.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | February 25, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Rooting for Ross more than I am anyone on the team. Would love to see him blossom this year.

Posted by: Dougie3 | February 25, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

So Ross discovered this on his own, and practiced in front of a mirror. So why do the Nat's have pitching coaches on the payroll? This hasn't come up before? Amazing that you can pick a guy in the first round and then not actively participate in his development.

Posted by: Finnucane | February 25, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

If ever anyone needed a reason not to select a pitcher with flawed mechanics with a #1 pick, Detwiler is it.

It would be interesting to see how pitchers selected after him (talent the Gnats could have drafted) have fared.

Posted by: MartinZook | February 25, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If the Phillies are offering anything worth while for Mike Morse, it is rumored they have inquired on his avilability, Rizzo had better take it. Morse is 29, will never likely be an every day player in MLB - -at least for the Nats, they have too many OF's as it is and they have needs all over the place to fill. Pull the trigger Rizzo.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 25, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

If Detwiler does have his stuff back and can live up to his #1 potential.
If Zimmerman can be that #2 guy we all hope.
If SS can come back healthy and can be as strong as Carpenter was.
If Maya can become the next incarnation of Livo.
If Kimball turns out to be the next big rocket arm.

We could be the Giants.

One thing is for certain we have the all "if" team

Posted by: hansenjo | February 25, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

My recollection is that the Nats tried to fix Detwiler's mechanics, especially the throwing across his body problem that resulted from him stepping toward the on-deck hitter, in his first full year in the minors. The result was a very disappointing season. So they allowed him to return to his poor mechanics, which may have caused his hip injury prior to last season.

It's not hard to see why they drafted him--tall, lanky lefty who could throw low-to-mid 90s. May as well hope that a change in mechanics can bring that potential out. It's still February.

Posted by: jcj5y | February 25, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

jcj5y remembers right. Both Rob Dibble and Ray Knight talked about it all the time.

Posted by: rschwartz1 | February 25, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it takes a young man some time to realize for himself what his elders have been telling him all along. Perhaps he's maturing.

Posted by: nationalsanthems | February 25, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

That's the first thing I tell kids when they're starting their windup, to step BACK as opposed to sideways like he was showing. Very first thing you show a kid. Me and everybody else could tell he dropping his arm slot and coming across his body. I agree with what Finnucane said about nobody picking up his mechanical problems. They see these guys throw almost every day. Hey did you see how skinny his legs are? That's almost how skinny his upper body is. And that's why he drops his arm slot, because he's not strong enough to keep it up. Everything he described was a product of weakness - like bringing his landing spot toward the first base line. He simply can't drag his leg all the way around consistently. That's what it's been looking like to me anyway. I hope he does well, but until they make him pound the weights, he's going to be inconsistent.

Posted by: Brue | February 25, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the video, Adam. This is good stuff.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 26, 2011 1:02 AM | Report abuse

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