Washington Post beat reporter Adam Kilgore called Ross Detwiler for a reaction to the Doug Fister acquistion and Mike Rizzo‘s follow-up comments on the pending 5th starter competition next spring. Here’s the story:
I call out one quote from Detwiler in particular:
“I didn’t know there was going to be an open competition for the last spot,” Detwiler said. “Oh, well. I’ve gone into every year since I got here like that. So why change that now?”
I’m sorry; what part of Detwiler’s career, or his performance last year in particular, is such that he should be surprised that he’s going to be competing for a rotation spot?? I’ll just note a few key points:
- He’s thrown more than 75 innings ONCE in his MLB career. In fact in his entire professional career he’s only thrown more than 75 innings twice; 2012′s 164 MLB inning season and 2008′s 124 inning Potomac season.
- He was 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA (a 94 ERA+) and even worse advanced stats (his 4.44 SIERA ranked him 176th out of 206 MLB pitchers who threw 70+ innings last year).
- He never goes deep into games; per Kilgore’s article he’s pitched past the 7th inning once, and a look at his game-logs shows that he rarely throws even a 100 pitches in an outing.
- As others have stated, he basically throws one pitch … and batters begin to tattoo him when they see it enough; again per Kilgore’s article opposing batters are hitting .314/.366/.493 the third time through the order against him.
- He had two separate D/L stints in 2013, and a season ending stint in 2010.
What part of those statistics inspires confidence that a) Detwiler is actually durable enough to count on for an entire season in the rotation, or b) he’s going to be better than one of our many alternatives at this point? Or c) is he even good enough to be a starter for this team any more?
To the c) part, I used to be a big proponent of Detwiler’s, especially after his 2011 and 2012 seasons with their stellar looking ERA+ figures and after hearing anonymous scouting reports that gush about Detwiler’s “stuff” being the best on the staff. But a look deeper (especially at 2012) shows that his ERA+ is a mirage; his advanced metrics put him far back on the leader boards of qualified starters. His bullpen stats are phenomenal (albeit short-sample-sized); maybe its time to accept that he’s a better bullpen weapon.
Perhaps I’m overreacting to one quote in this article in particular since the rest of the article seemed to have him saying “the right things.” But this quote shows a rather misguided opinion of his capabilities, given what his performance has been and given how much time he’s missed. He has to be more aware of the possibility that the team no longer can count on him to be there to answer the bell 32-33 times with better than league average performance.