After a rough stretch of four starts, and the timely return of Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler is headed back to the bullpen. Davey Johnson informed reporters of the move after the team's win on Saturday.
Wang was the original plan for the fifth spot in the rotation and will now return to the role. Wang pitched three innings on Friday, his first appearance of the season, and earned the win after allowing three hits and a solo home run.
Detwiler took advantage of the opportunity early on this season and held a 1.64 ERA through the month of April. Since, however, he has allowed at least three earned in his last four games. His walk totals are up and he has been pulled earlier in games.
Detwiler is 3-3 on the year with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.274 WHIP. He will take the role of long relief, a spot he had mixed results in last season. Johnson said he realizes the former sixth overall pick still has a high ceiling, but that Wang brings more experience and a more accomplished rsum as a starter. Wang twice won 19 games as a member of the New York Yankees.
Wang has been a starter his entire career and has little experience pitching out of the bullpen. He is known for warming up extensively before starts and being a slow starter in games. In 11 games with Washington last season he went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA.
Johnson had Wang slotted fifth to begin the year, but on March 15 he suffered an injury to his left hamstring. He sprained the hamstring while fielding a ball and running to get a player out at first during a spring training game. The 32-year-old Wang was placed on the disabled list and has since made rehab appearances at Hagerstown, Potomac, and Syracuse.
Wang is a seven-year MLB veteran, he spent five seasons with the Yankees before sitting out 2010 with shoulder injuries. The Nationals signed him in February of 2010, but didn't see him fully recover and pitch for them until July of 2011. He re-signed with the club in November for a one-year, 4 million contract.
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.