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Ross Detwiler: Nationals Pitcher is Underrated to Say the Least

Saturday September 22nd, 2012 

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): The Washington Nationals have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors. The reason for this is the depth they have on the staff. It is not a shock that with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson, and Ross Detwiler that the Nationals have one of the best rotations in baseball. You hear a lot about the first four guys on this list, but not much about Detwiler. I am really wondering why this is the case!

Detwiler really came onto the scene back in ’09 as he pitched in fifteen games for the Nats. He had a not so solid ERA of 5.00. This is pretty common for a young pitcher coming into the league facing big league hitters. The thing you look for in a young pitcher is if he is getting better. Whether his stuff improves and he develops as a pitcher. If the pitcher does improve, you stick with him and work with him to get him to be the best that he can be. 

Detwiler has gotten better in a HUGE way. In 2012, he has pitched in thirty-one games thus far and does have a solid 3.10 ERA, with a 10-6 record and 1.172 WHIP. He has also reached 157 innings on the season. Detwiler is not discussed often because of guys like Strasburg and Gonzalez. His stats go unnoticed to most people and he doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves. He is a great back of the rotation guy right now and I expect him to stay at the same level in the postseason. Depending on whether the Nats go with a 3 or 4 man rotation in October, they most likely will move Detwiler to the bullpen. Detwiler has experience in the bullpen, so this could be a great thing for the Nationals and give them a huge advantage. 

An interesting note: when Stephen Strasburg was shut down, he had pitched 159 1/3 innings. He had a 15-6 record, to go along with a 3.16 ERA and 1.155 Whip. Taking the win/loss record aside, the Nats did not lose much by keeping Detwiler in the rotation and shutting down Strasburg. Perhaps his emergence partly gave the Nats the confidence to make this move. Now Strasburg was much more dominating in the strikeouts department (197, compared to Detwiler’s 99). But an out is an out, with Detwiler getting many of those this season. He may not be the ace that Stephen Strasburg, but he has been an extremely dependable arm for the Nats all season.

As I look at Detwiler I see him having the potential to be a number two for many teams and a great three for the Nationals. He is a young kid with a lot still to learn about the game of baseball and pitching at the age of 26. He is still walking a few too many batters, which has to get better if he wants to solidify himself as a great starter in this league. Detwiler pitches to contact a lot of the time which is good for the defense, which will keep them staying on their toes and ready to make outs. Overall, Ross Detwiler has exceeded the expectations of the Nationals and its fans this season. Come October, let’s see if he can keep the magic home and help bring a World Series title to Washington.

(* The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com *)

Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)

 

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Posted on September 22, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Ross Detwiler: Nationals Pitcher is Underrated to Say the Least.

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