VIERA, Fla. - Ross Detwiler's final outing of the spring was one of his best of an impressive spring for the left-hander, even as it had less bearing on his chance to make the roster than any other.
Detwiler just finished his day, allowing one run on five hits in five innings against the Marlins while throwing 44 strikes in 65 pitches. He got 10 outs by ground balls, and struck out two batters. He finishes the spring with a 2.85 ERA, and in the end, no shot of making the opening day roster.
The left-hander probably didn't have much of a shot from the beginning, once Tom Gorzelanny got things together after a sinus infection. He had a minor league option left, which likely made him the odd man out, and the Nationals could use that option as soon as this afternoon, sending Detwiler to Triple-A Syracuse to start the year with their rotation already set in the majors.
But he had one of the more impressive springs in Nationals camp, and because of it, he'll likely be the first starter called up. The 2007 first-rounder fixed his mechanics, started throwing more strikes and made his curveball a weapon again. It should pay off for him soon.
The Nationals just took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning over the Marlins, on yet another homer from Michael Morse. He's hit nine this spring, and has four in as many games. And many of his shots this season have been opposite field blasts; this one was to deep right center, into a mild right-to-left breeze. We've said it all spring, but if he continues to hit opposite field shots, he's in for a big year.