So, big news out of camp today is Matt Williams announced decision to “start the season” with Ross Detwiler in the bullpen. Adam Kilgore broke the news earlier today and now it’s been picked up by some of the bigger sites and other Nats beat reporters.
I’m on record with having predicted Detwiler for the 5th starter, dating back to my (too-early) December 2013 post predicting the rotations across the system. I stand by my arguments made at the time, but cannot argue with decisions made by those who watch these guys day-in and day-out. Detwiler’s stats this spring leave something to be desired (insert standard anti-Spring training stats/short sample size arguments here), and we all know that a) the team needs another lefty reliever, b) Detwiler’s reliever stats are excellent, and c) the Bullpen was pretty bad last year and needed improving anyway.
Detwiler in the bullpen definitely improves the group as a whole, and opens up a spot for someone unexpected to start the season in the rotation.
So, now what are we predicting? Something like this?
- Rotation: Strasburg, Gio, Zimm, Fister and Jordan
- Bullpen: Soraino, Clippard, Storen, Stammen, Blevins (L), Detwiler (L) and Roark
- D/L: Ohlendorf (back), Mattheus (chest), Davis (elbow)
Or are we thinking that Roark may pip Jordan for the 5th spot, which would give perhaps a guy like Aaron Barrett (whose Spring stats are stellar) or maybe even fan favorite Christian Garcia the 7th spot in the pen for the time being while Jordan heads to AAA? Or, is Fister starting the year on the D/L as well, meaning both Jordan and Roark may be pressed into action? Or, if Fister does hit the D/L is Detwiler getting pulled back into the fray as a starter again? Or do we throw a NRI a bone and keep someone like Michael Gonzalez and/or Luis Ayala? (doubtful on these last two guys: Gonzalez has yet to pitch in a game and Ayala’s gotten shelled).
If it were me, I”d go with Roark in the rotation until he falters (if he falters), stick Jordan in AAA to continue getting starts on a regular basis, keep Detwiler as 2nd lefty/long man and give a hard-throwing righty like Garcia a shot to show us what he’s got at the MLB level.
Thoughts? First controversial move by our manager; I wonder how the players are taking it.