Ross Detwiler's bullpen session this afternoon was pretty similar to the left-hander's standard mound work in between starts, except he threw a little bit harder than normal and he had a few more pairs of eyes watching him than he would under most circumstances.
Reporters gazed out from the press box high atop Nationals Park this afternoon as Detwiler toed the rubber in the Nats' bullpen to get in a throwing session under the watchful eye of pitching coach Steve McCatty. There wasn't much to see, which was a good thing.
Detwiler's first mound session since he suffered a slight right oblique strain back in a start on May 15 was uneventful and went smoothly, and he's still on track to get the start for the Nats on Tuesday against the Orioles.
"He had a great bullpen," manager Davey Johnson said. "Threw the ball well. Felt good. Cat was impressed. And so, barring anything (coming) up tomorrow or the next day, he's good to go Tuesday."
The Nats were able to avoid putting Detwiler on the DL by having him skip a start and then pushing him back a couple days to give him extra rest. Stephen Strasburg will get the start tomorrow and Gio Gonzalez will go on Monday, with both starters working on normal rest because of Thursday's off-day.
Detwiler sat down halfway through his bullpen session for about five minutes to simulate waiting for the Nats to hit, and then he got back up on the mound and finished his normal routine without any issues.
There was a little cause for concern when Detwiler needed to leave his start against the Dodgers 10 days ago after just three innings. He had injured his oblique reaching for a throw while covering first base and, after finishing that half-inning, was removed from the game.
The Nats felt confident pretty much right away that the injury wasn't major, however, and they opted to keep Detwiler on the roster, have Zach Duke take Detwiler's next start, and then see if Detwiler could return to the rotation. That's how things have played out.
Detwiler pushed himself during his mound work today, and he passed his own test.
"Any time you get healthy again, it's definitely going to be a relief," Detwiler said. "But the thing (is), I kind of went and threw a little harder today than I normally would just so I wouldn't have any, I wouldn't hold back anything. I proved to myself that I was healthy and I'm ready to go."
On the season, Detwiler is 2-4 with a 2.76 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 10 walks.