Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Handicapping Detwiler's Start

Tuesday night, Ross Detwiler went 5.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. On paper, that makes a pretty average start. He got the Curly W, and the Nats moved back above the .500 mark. Simple enough, right? Let's look at our concerns from yesterday's post and how our predictions matched up to what really happened: bullet-point style.
  • Velocity - We said our main concern for Detwiler was his velocity. Well, it looked like Nats Park had him jacked up. His fastball got all the way up to 95 twice in the first inning and stayed pretty stable in the 92-93 mph range throughout the start. That's the exact velocity you want Rossy D at with his 84 mph change up. We liked what we saw, including that his velocity stayed up to the end. It's hard to know how quickly it'd disappear though, since he was done after just 78 pitches.
  • Walks - Detwiler's BB/9 was 3.30 in Syracuse this season, which is a bit higher than an ideal level. Tuesday, he walked no one; 49 of his 78 pitches were strikes. You'd like to see a better ball-strike ratio, but the no walks against major league hitting was a great start.
  • Hit hard - We said that Detwiler would get lit up. We were wrong about the hits, but we weren't wrong about getting hit hard. There was a whole lot of contact, especially in the first few innings, where Cubs hitters were making exceptional contact; it just happened to be at Nats fielders. Ross caught some real breaks there.
Overall, we were impressed with Detwiler's start, as it wasn't as bad as we thought it could be. We still have serious concerns, though. Detwiler faced just 21 batters. Once he got through the lineup twice, it turned not so great. Of the only 3 batters that saw him a 3rd time (Johnson, DeWitt, A. Ramirez), one doubled, one flied out, and one hit a 2-run homer. It's a small sample size, but it doesn't bode well to getting through the lineup 3 times as a starter. Just another reason why we think Detwiler could be a great lefty reliever and spot starter long term. Only time will tell what happens with him as far as that goes.

What do you think will happen with Rossy D long term? Despite his slow starting career, we like him, do you?

1 comment:

  1. I remember his curve ball being some big loop-de-loop thing and he said it wasn't working last night. It might have helped him go farther into the game. I think he is going to end up in the great middle-reliever/long guy swamp, though. In all - he pitched better than I thought he would, more velocity, more control. Good kid - would love to see him succeed in the majors.