VIERA, Fla. - Ross Detwiler officially was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse early this afternoon, a move that was a virtual certainty once Tom Gorzelanny claimed the last spot in the rotation. Even Detwiler knew it was coming, and was as matter-of-fact about the move on Monday as he was when he made his last start of the spring on Sunday.
"This is the business part of it," Detwiler said. "I know I'll be back."
The left-hander was one of the success stories of camp, posting a 2.65 ERA in five games. But he has one minor league option left, and the Nationals will use it to have him start at Syracuse. He needs to refine his curveball somewhat, and could continue working on his changeup, but Detwiler made a big impression this spring. On Sunday, manager Jim Riggleman said in his mind, Detwiler is definitely a big league pitcher.
"It's definitely encouraging," Detwiler said. "He goes out and sees big league pitching every day. For him to say that about me, it's definitely the highest compliment I can get."