VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals now have two pitchers on the Team USA roster for the World Baseball Classic.
Ross Detwiler has accepted an invitation to pitch for Team USA, the Nats announced this morning.
Detwiler joins fellow Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the Team USA roster. Gonzalez isn’t scheduled to participate in the WBC until the second round, instead staying with the Nats until he has made three Grapefruit League starts.
Detwiler went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA last season, his first full major league campaign.
The 2007 first-round pick also had a stellar postseason start, the first of his career, throwing six innings in a must-win Game 4 of the National League Division Series, holding the Cardinals to just one unearned run on three hits.
Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina is also taking part in the WBC; Bernadina will play for the Netherlands.
More on this to come.
Update: Detwiler says he got a text message late last night from Tony Clark, the director of player relations with the MLB Players’ Association, asking whether he was interested in playing in the WBC.
Because he was sleeping at the time, he didn’t respond right away. But Detwiler saw the text message this morning and immediately knew it was something he wanted to do.
“I said I’m definitely interested, but it has to go through a few other people other than just me,” Detwiler said. “Got here today and worked it out this morning.
“Anytime you can represent your country and get your country’s name across your chest, I always jump at those opportunities.”
Detwiler met with general manager Mike Rizzo, manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty when he got to Space Coast Stadium this morning, and the group discussed details of how much work they’d want Detwiler to put in before he leaves camp.
Detwiler isn’t sure of specifics on when he’ll report to Team USA or exactly how many Grapefruit League appearances he’ll make with the Nats before he leaves for WBC duty. He does know, however, that unlike Gonzalez, he’ll join Team USA for the first round of the tournament, which looking at the schedule would almost certainly limit Detwiler to two starts with the Nats before he leaves.
Gonzalez will stay with the Nats and make three starts before joining Team USA in Miami. Assuming Team USA makes it to the second round, Gonzalez will get the ball for them on March 12.
“I know I’ll have a few starts here before I go,” Detwiler said. “Not 100 percent sure on the dates or times or numbers or anything. I know I will be with the team a while longer, but this is just in the near future sometime in March.”
Not everyone asked to be a part of the World Baseball Classic jumps at the opportunity, but Detwiler doesn’t fit into that crowd.
“Definitely excited,” Detwiler said. “I think this is a very good opportunity for me.”