Greetings (for the first time) from Space Coast Stadium, where I've finally arrived at Nationals spring training. No interesting travel stories, other than an Avis line that lasted about half as long as my flight, so we'll get right to it:
Ross Detwiler is in camp, hopping around on crutches after surgery earlier in the week to repair a torn right hip flexor. The left-hander was upbeat about the injury, which should keep him out 10-12 weeks. He will start tossing in four weeks, should be throwing in six, and is confident his recovery time will be on the shorter end of the timetable.
"I saw the doctor post-surgery and he said everything looked great," Detwiler said. "It's better than expected for me."
He couldn't say exactly when he started feeling pain, or what caused it, but after throwing a bullpen session last week, he decided it was time to say something to the Nationals' training staff, which prompted an MRI, a second look and eventually, surgery in Colorado.
It's a blow for Detwiler, who was expected to make a strong push for a spot in the rotation after a strong September last year, but he felt he needed to speak up before competition began for roster positions -- especially since an injury in his right hip, or his plant leg, could cause issues in his delivery that would eventually hurt his arm if he made mechanical adjustments to compensate for the injury.
"I don't think it's fair to myself that I'd be competing for a job at less than 100 percent," Detwiler said. "They're going to take the best five, and if I'm doing it at less than 100 percent, it's going to hurt my chances. If I wouldn't have taken care of it, it would have put a lot more pressure on my arm, which could have led to worse injuries down the road."
He will stay with the team through the spring rehabbing his hip, which will also give him plenty of time to watch which pitchers surge through camp and claim spots in the Opening Day rotation. It might be tempting for Detwiler to rush his way back and begin his push for a spot in a rotation that figures to be filled out by a gaggle of young pitchers competing against each other. However much Detwiler feels that urge, he knows it's imperative for him to block it out.
"If I thought like that, I think I'd get too far ahead of myself, which would put me back quite a bit in the rehab," Detwiler said. "I'm just going to be rehabbing every day. Hopefully, everything goes to plan."
The Nats' clubhouse was fairly quiet this afternoon, save for Adam Dunn shooting the breeze with Ryan Speier and a few attendants. But tomorrow will be a different scene. That's when Stephen Strasburg throws a bullpen session that could have more onlookers than actual pitches. The hype is already in full effect.
As for coverage, I'll be on Twitter plenty, and obviously posting news here. In the next couple days, I'll probably start rolling out some longer pieces on the web, and once games start, we're going to have a live in-game module for updates and conversation. And I'll post the daily audio of Jim Riggleman's media sessions, as well as any other interesting sound snippets that emerge. The folks back at MASN are working on a web page redesign, as well, which should also bring some cool new gizmos and gadgets to our in-game coverage in the next month or two.
Also, I'll be chatting over at Washington Nationals Fan Forum on Tuesday night at 8:00; if you're interested in that, you can check it out here, and start submitting questions in advance of the chat.
As always, chime in with questions and/or comments below.