Detwiler Out, Should Be Back By May

Ross Detwiler just had surgery on his hip, which means unfortunately he will miss Spring Training, miss his chance to win a rotation spot, and miss a chance to continue his dominating performance from September. It basically pushed his start time to end of April, which means he’s going to miss at least the first month of the season.

In all, I don’t think this is much to worry about, as long as he recovers. The Nats aren’t going to miss the playoffs just by missing 4 or 5 starts by him, so the team shouldn’t fret too much. As for the player, frankly, as long as he makes 100% recovery, this may be the best thing for him. You may recall his September performance. 5 appearances, 4 starts, an ERA of 1.90 in 23 2/3 innings, just spectacular. Except it wasn’t just spectacular. In those innings he walked 11 batters which was WAY too may, and he struck out only 10, which was way too few.

He was, in effect, lucky in September. Not to say he didn’t pitch well, but his low ERA is probably somewhat illusory. I just don’t know if he’s ready to face non-September competition in the majors, and yes, it’s different. This way he will probably get a few starts in AAA to get his feet under him, and come up to the big league club some time in May. It will also limit his total innings. Last year he pitched about 150 innings, so he should be able to pitch more – something like 170 or 175 – before management would get worried. This way, if he does come back on time, missing that one month should be enough to let him go on through to the end without having to miss starts or get pulled early.

Sure, it’s a setback for a guy who was hoping to make the starting rotation. But do you think there isn’t going to be someone worth replacing come May 1? I sure don’t. Let’s not get too worried about this. He is still my favorite to be the prospect outside of Zimmermann and Strasburg that makes the future rotation, 10 weeks off for a hip injury doesn’t change my thoughts on this.

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