LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Largely because he reports to spring training so early, Ross Detwiler usually finds himself one of the Nationals’ most game-ready pitchers each year in the early stages of camp.
Detwiler has been in Florida for nearly a month now, throwing and building up arm strength. That work has showed so far today, as the left-hander has allowed just one hit through two innings of work and notched two strikeouts.
The 27-year-old needed just 13 pitches (eight of which were strikes) to get through a 1-2-3 first inning, which included a strikeout of Jason Heyward, who was caught looking at a Detwiler curveball.
Detwiler then worked around a Tyler Moore error in the second inning, throwing 16 pitches (nine strikes) in that frame. He struck out Juan Francisco on a diving two-seamer on the hands for the second out of the inning.
He’s sat at 91-93 mph on the stadium gun with his fastball, and has thrown a handful of off-speed pitches.
Because he’s at just 29 pitches through two innings, Detwiler has earned himself a third inning of work.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper has started spring by going 5-for-7.
Harper has two doubles in his two at-bats today. The first was lucky; Harper beat the ball into the dirt right in front of the plate, and it hopped over the head of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Harper hustled his way into second with a two-bagger.
The second Harper double of the day came in the top of the third, when the 20-year-old laced a ball to the gap in left-center leading off the inning.
The kid might just turn out to be someone.
Update: The Upton brothers each delivered an RBI single off Detwiler in the third inning, and Davey Johnson came out to get his left-hander after 2 2/3 innings of work.
Detwiler leaves having thrown 41 pitches, 28 for strikes. He gave up five hits (four in the third inning) and struck out two.
Ryan Perry took over for Detwiler and struck out Dan Uggla looking with a 93 mph fastball to end the frame.
It’s a 2-2 game after three innings.