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Washington’s Detwiler gets first start, realizes MLB club sucks.

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When Ross Detwiler started for the Washington National’s last night, I expected him to do precisely what Jordan Zimmermann did upon his promotion: pitch great baseball, show what he’s capable of, and end the big club’s skid.

Detwiler lived up to his end of the deal, the National’s defense and bullpen didn’t.

During his first MLB start Monday, the 6’5″ lefty pitched five innings of three-run ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates despite three errors behind him. His only “mistake” was a 3-run jack to Craig Monroe. I haven’t seen the video, but the pitch was supposedly low-and-away and only someone with the power of Monroe could have ripped it out of the park. Detwiler left the game with a 5-3 lead, six strikeouts, and no base-on-balls. Really, that’s about the best you can ask for from anyone on the National’s pitching staff these days, nonetheless someone making his first career start above AA.

It's funny now, but wait til it happens 12 or 14 more times...

Garrett Mock and Jesus Colome promptly coughed up the lead in the sixth, giving up six runs en route to a 12-7 loss. The National’s bullpen has blown 13 saves in a young season.

There is grumblings that Detwiler is on his way back to AA Harrisburg. While it makes sense from a seasoning standpoint, it doesn’t make sense from a “when the hell are we going to win next?” standpoint. There’s only so long that the Nat’s can overwork Ron Villone and Joe Beimel while expecting them to be generally effective. Using Detwiler as a mop-up man, innings filler, or spot starter allows him to work with major league pitching coaches while gaining MLB experience. While I don’t think Detwiler should be rushed to the big league club for good, if there was ever a time for a lightning rod or a breath of fresh air for the team, now would appear to be ideal. Let Detwiler get his feet wet and then send him down.

Detwiler is the Nat’s #2 prospect behind Jordan Zimmermann. While scouts say that he has to work on refining and repeating his delivery, he is still believed to have the highest upside of any pitcher in the organization.

Here’s his scouting report:

Fastball: 92-94 mph, but has the ability to hit 96. In the start yesterday, it routinely sat at 91 mph. Detwiler pounded the strikezone all night though, relying on location rather than blowing batters away. At this point, 94 truly seems to be the fastest he’ll throw it.

2-Seamer: Of the sinking variety, it’s not as good as his four-seamer but has good movement.

Curveball: Detwiler throws across his body (sometimes too much), making this a 1-7 curve. It’s got great movement and is a plus-pitch.

Changeup: Why is it always so hard to find information on guy’s changeups? It’s developing…supposedly.

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