Ross Detwiler's improved mechanics translate in his first spring training appearance
Before today, Ross Detwiler had been perhaps the most promising player in Nationals spring training during the most unimportant time to be promising. Detwiler, showcasing new, improved mechanics, had impressed Nationals officials during bullpen sessions and live batting practices. They could not help but wonder how it would look and play in a game.
Today, in relief of Livan Hernandez, Detwiler provided an answer that did nothing to dampen his stock. He pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three while walking none and allowing two singles, one of them a broken-bat bleeder.
Detwiler himself wondered if he could take his mechanics from the bullpen to the center of the diamond. By the end of his two innings, he was satisfied.
"The biggest thing is to see how it translates over to a game," Detwiler said. "The thing I'm happiest about being out there today was just not trying to feel through mechanics and not trying to make them smooth, just trying to go about my business. I think they were smooth."
Detwiler, according to one Nationals employee wielding a radar gun, fired his fastball between 91 and 93 miles per hour. He said his curveball is not as sharp as he would like, but it was good enough to make Ike Davis, the first batter he faced, stare at one for strike three.
By walking no one, Detwiler continued a healthy trend for the Nationals. In their first two games, Nationals pitchers have surrendered only two walks in 18 innings, one by Craig Stammen and one by Cole Kimball. When pitchers gathered with pitching coach Steve McCatty, he emphasized aggression, and the Nationals have adhered.
"It's really good," said Livan Hernandez, who allowed one run in three innings today in his first start. "We had a meeting earlier this year. We talked about that. McCatty told us we've got to let the guys hit the ball. Right now, we're doing good."
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