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.