A solid start for Ross Detwiler in Woodbridge Wednesday night. The southpaw pitched three innings, scattered four hits, allowed no runs, walked one and struck two on 40 pitches with 28 for strikes. Ross did not factor into the decision as Frederick beat the Potomac Nationals 4-3.
His fastball was clocked between 88 and 92 miles per hour, change at 81 MPH and curveball at 71 MPH.
I thought he looked good and maybe a little tentative at the start. He still has that high leg kick and smooth delivery to the plate that I remember seeing in 2007.
Detwiler gave up a pair of hits in the first inning but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a grounder to third.
"You know I didn't really know what to expect coming out being my first real game of the year. I felt a little rusty out there. I got some ground balls and the defense made some plays behind me."
So how did the hip feel through three full innings?
"It feels good. I didn't even think about (the hip) one time. I had a come backer in the second inning and I had to kind of lunge for that and that was the first real test I have had on it. There was no complications from that.
"I used all my pitches: fastball, curveball, changeup. I only threw two changeups and they felt alright. I left one of them up and they got a base hit. Curveball felt good, I think I threw seven of those. Probably four or five good ones, and the other ones were just kind of spun up there. That stuff is going to be further behind my fastball right now being the first outing of the year."
You have been working on your curve?
"That is a pitch I have been working on since last year. I didn't think I really had a curveball last year. We sat down and went over some things. I am just getting the feeling back in it right now."
Have you changed the way you grip the curve or your release point?
"Yes, a little bit. It is a little bit further back in my hand then it was last year."
Catcher Derek Norris was also impressed with what Detwiler was dealing. "He had great action on all of his pitches. His two-seam was running well, good life on his fastball, sharp curveball and a good changeup as well. He threw really well tonight."
Pitching coach Paul Menhart gave me a scouting report on how he thought Ross did in his first rehab assignment with the P-Nats.
What did you want to see from Ross Detwiler and how did he do?
"We wanted to get him to 50 pitches and he ended up going 40. Afterwards, we just let him stretch it out in the bullpen and get to that 50 mark. I thought he looked strong.
I thought he commanded the ball pretty well. There were times where I don't know if he necessarily let it go as well as he did afterwards, but all in all, I thought he threw the ball pretty well."
It looked like it was his curveball that got the called third strike against Billy Rowell in the second inning?
"Yes, and what he is doing with it now is he is starting to get better rotation on it. He is spinning the ball and getting more revolutions instead of trying to throw it hard. He is actually spinning it harder and it is getting a little bit better depth. He is starting to get a real good feel for it."
Detwiler had a play off the mound he had to make, how do you think the hip looked on that movement?
"That one play was a pretty good test. I was a little concerned, it barely tipped off his glove over to his right. Afterwards, he said everything was fine, everything felt great. He didn't tweak the (hip), so that was a pretty good test."
Detwiler says next up is a pair of starts for Harrisburg and hopefully then back with the Nationals.