Across the Affiliates 05/19/09

I watched Ross Detwiler’s first major league start at home last night. He was about what I expected. Over five innings of work, he allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and one hit batter. The good news was he did not walk a batter while striking out six. The bad news was he suffered through the same kind of defense that had plagued him in Harrisburg with the Nats making three errors forcing him to pile up a higher pitch count than necessary (84 total … 61 strikes). Detwiler did not appear to throw across his body and kept a pretty good rhythm throughout the game. He did not get too flustered when Guzman forced him to get five outs in the first inning and his lone bad inning might have been avoided if Johnson had completed the pickoff play. From what I heard, the Nationals plan on sending Detwiler to Syracuse rather than back to Harrisburg. Either way, not a bad first start for Detwiler, definitely something to build on.

RHP Marco Estrada struck out six over six solid innings as the Chiefs doubled up the Indians 4-2 (box/gamer). Estrada allowed two runs on four hits and a walk and was 1/2 with one RBI to move to 2-0 on the season. The three most likely names to assume their spots in the big league bullpen, RHPs Tyler Clippard, Jason Bergmann, and Mike MacDougal pitched the final three scoreless innings for Syracuse with MacDougal earning his first save. CF Justin Maxwell was 3/4 with a stolen base; 1B Rad Eldred was 2/4 with a solo homer; RF Mike Vento was 2/4 with a double and run scored; and 3B/RF Kory Casto was 3/4 with a stolen base.

Today: Syracuse LHP Mike O’Connor (1-3, 6.50) at Indianapolis RHP Virgil Vasquez (2-2, 4.97) at 11AM

Harrisburg fell to Erie 4-3 in 10 innings (box/gamer). RHP Adrian Alaniz was shaky, allowing only two runs but giving up five hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings of work, striking out four. LHP Jack Spradlin struck out four and surrendered one run on four hits over 3 2/3 innings of relief. RF Joel Guzman was 2/4 with a solo homer and two RBI; 3B Matt Whitney was 1/4 with a double and RBI; and CF Edgardo Baez was 1/2 with two walks and a run scored.

Tonight: Harrisburg LHP Justin Jones (1-5, 4.75) at Erie RHP Luis Marte (2-3, 3.89) at 6:35PM

Potomac got a strong start from LHP Will Atwood and the P-Nats bullpen danced in and out of trouble (including bases loaded one-out in the bottom of the ninth) to blank Kinston 1-0 (box/gamer). Atwood struck out six over six shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks. RHP Clint Everts kept his scoreless streak alive despite scattering three hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings of relief. LHP Atahualpa Severino picked up the win with an inning of relief but allowed two walks in the bottom of the ninth requiring RHP Cole Kimball to enter the game. Kimball promptly walked the bases loaded before ending the game with a strikeout and groundout to earn his first save of the season. CA Brian Peacock (0/4) drove in the games only run with a groundout in the top of the ninth, scoring LF Jesus Vladez (1/4). 1B Chris Marrero was 2/3 with a walk and CF Francisco Plasencia was 2/4 for the P-Nats.

Tonight: Potomac RHP Jeff Mandel (4-1, 2.25) at Kinston LHP Eric Berger (3-2, 2.12) at 7PM

RHP Terrence Engles struck out twelve over seven shutout innings as the Suns defeated the Intimidators 2-1 (box/gamer). Engles allowed only two hits and walked one to move to 4-1 on the season. Over his seven starts, he has a 3.26 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with f=50 strikeouts and only 7 walks over 38 2/3 innings of work. RHP Osvaldo Rodriguez earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits and retiring the final two hitters with the tying run at third base. CA Derek Norris was 1/4 with a double; LF Aaron Seuss had one RBI; 2B Stephen Lombardozzi was 1/4 with a stolen base and run scored; and 3B Steven Souza was 1/4 with a run scored.

Tonight: Hagerstown RHP Brad Peacock (0-2, 3.09) at Kannapolis RHP Stephen Sauer (0-1, 4.26) at 7:05PM

  1. #1 by cjrugger - May 19th, 2009 at 08:47

    Might be time to sit Espinoza down for a couple of days, 5 for his last 41 with 14Ks

    Good start by Ross. Bad defense, good run support, terrible bullpen relief.. Welcome to Washington Ross!

  2. #2 by VladiHondo - May 19th, 2009 at 08:47

    Was VERY impressed with Detwiler that 1st inning, Goozie flubs two, let’s just get the next guy out. Very un-Cabrera of him. And the HR seemed like it was mistimed/misplayed by Willie, he got his glove up high enough but it had already bounce off the top of the fence.

    Kudos to Ross, great first start!

  3. #3 by cjrugger - May 19th, 2009 at 08:59

    good news if true. Not sure I like the fact that Rizzo cares what the BA mock draft says tho

  4. #4 by Dick - May 19th, 2009 at 09:01

    Detwiler was VERY impressive, surprisingly so. A strike throwing machine. There is hope there after all! Good velocity and an excellent job of changing speeds.

    After last night’s performance, I’m going to personally drive to Syracuse and fetch those three relievers! Two of them are already on the 40-man. Why aren’t they here?

  5. #5 by VladiHondo - May 19th, 2009 at 09:01

    What was Engles’ injury that caused him to miss 2k7? Know he did not do well last year (6.82 ERA P-Nats/H-town), but maybe he can get back on the prospect track.

    Or is it too late (23 yr old).

  6. #6 by AlexVA - May 19th, 2009 at 09:22

    That was a good showing for Detwiler, the K of McLouth with a changeup was a thing of beauty. Now off to AAA and we’ll see you in August.

  7. #7 by Ronny - May 19th, 2009 at 09:27

    I loved what I saw from Detwiler. I had some real doubts about him, and I’m glad to see he put most of them to rest. He actually looked like a #6 pick. When I saw him out there, I couldn’t help but think Cole Hamels.

  8. #8 by Greg - May 19th, 2009 at 09:29

    Heading to the game this Saturday, any chance they hand him the ball for a second start?

  9. #9 by expo_ram - May 19th, 2009 at 10:29

    Mandel, Meyers, Engles, Milone, Atwood, Detwiler, Zenicola, Rodriguez, Everts, Estrada, Bergmann, Clippard, hopefully McGeary, Smoker, Balester, Willems, soon to Strasburg and #9a - pitching is building.

    Everyone was worried about no offensive prospects, but it is much easier to sign/trade for hitters than pitchers.

    BTW Brian, where is Destin Hood these days?

  10. #10 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 10:38

    Hood is still in extended spring. I’d imagine we’ll see him in Vermont in June

  11. #11 by Pilchard - May 19th, 2009 at 10:44

    Is Strasburg pitching tonight? The MWC tournament starts today and SD State plays UNLV. If he goes, he would be pitching on 4 days rest.

  12. #12 by Ryan - May 19th, 2009 at 10:44


    I’d love to hear your take on Detwiler’s performance last night? And also, is it possible that the light switch has come on for Ross, as he seems to be pitching up to his draft slot these last 7/8 starts.

    Also, want to throw my hat in the ring again for the mock draft… I’d like to participate

  13. #13 by Berndaddy - May 19th, 2009 at 11:05

    Two things about Ross last night for me.

    1) You could see the change in mechanics 2) He’s got a wicked sinker

    Good for him. Let’s hope there’s more where that came from , eh…

  14. #14 by Mark - May 19th, 2009 at 11:18

    Det always has had the arm - it’s been his control, at least in ‘07 & ‘08. I recall a pitching mechanics adjustment discussion last year where Randy St. Claire really went to town him. “Throwing across the body” seemed to the issue as Brian mentioned. Det accepted the coaching well, but it took him some time. I also think at 23 he has his mental stuff more together. Syracuse will be a good and brief stop for him to lock everything down in his pitching catalogue, given the Nats needs and Det’s development.

  15. #15 by Ronny - May 19th, 2009 at 11:23

    I wonder if Baseball America regrets taking Detwiler out of their 100 best prospects list.

  16. #16 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 11:27

    Not sure if Strasburg is going today, trying to find out

    If it’s not Detwiler on Saturday, I’d guess it will be Stammen

    I doubt BA regrets dropping Detwiler out of the top 100 given what happened in 2008. They still like him (called him the highest upside of any arm in the system) but given the results on the field, the drop was not unexpected.

  17. #17 by Mark - May 19th, 2009 at 11:36

    BA did not give Det the benefit of the doubt, as fans often do, and based on his ‘08 numbers there was no reason to. Heck, I would have done the same thing. This happens to them yearly where prospects plummit one year while others rebound. Clearly Det made a huge step forward this year, so far, and based on Monday, I don’t see him digressing.

  18. #18 by Ronny - May 19th, 2009 at 11:57

    But they(BA) knew he was changing his mechanics, so maybe they including myself should have given him the benefit of the doubt. I just hope Detwiler can keep getting better.

  19. #19 by BobLHead - May 19th, 2009 at 11:57

    I love Justin Maxwell but his k-rate seems to have jumped substantially this year (40 Ks in just 108 PAs). Anybody have any insight on this? I dimly recall Barry alluding to a loop in his swing that might prevent him from becoming an MLB starter.

  20. #20 by Mark - May 19th, 2009 at 12:37

    Terry Engles is all of a sudden a beast of low A ball. Last 4 starts: 4-0 24 IP 2.40 ERA 29 SO 15 H 4 BB

    Ozzie (Os?) Rodriguez - looking good, too, with 6 saves. Last 10 games: 6 Saves 1-1 1.59 ERA 11.1 IP 2 ER 17 SO 13 H

    I hope these two see Harrisburg before the end of the year (man, they need help).

  21. #21 by nationals fan - May 19th, 2009 at 12:39

    I spent the weekend at Myrtle Beach and will tell you that it is a great place to visit, and the ballpark is A+. Some observations: Milone and Willems were both outstanding. WIllems was the victim of lousy outfield play on 3 different occasions, none of which warranted an error. Milone had the Pelicans unable to figure out his move to first base and picked 2. On Friday night Espinosa was robbed in deep CF, and just missed hooking one inside the leftfield pole. His production has been a bit off, and so maybe he has become too concerned with the long ball. He showed off a plus arm on the error that he made. Burgess hits the ball really hard when he makes contact, and appears to be coming around now. His home run was a rocket. Plasencia was the main guy with problems in the OF (CF) on Saturday night, although Valdez does not break well at all. Down 2 runs in the Saturday loss Jewett brought the infield in with the #2 contact hitter up for the Pelicans, and played the second baseman directly in front of the second base bag!? He promptly grounded one right through the vacated second base position. In the Saturday win up 2 runs in the 8th, and with Milone in complet command he bunts King with 2 strikes into a foul strike 3. Made no baseball sense at all unless he is just trying to “get into his head”, and his benching the next day sort of clarified this “old school” coaching. I thought Heyward took a cheap shot at Rooney on the ball that Placensia let go under him to the fence, but he did give him a bit of a hug when the play was over. Heyward is a BIG man, and it was great to see him try to go all the way on the error(he runs well). Kimball closed a game and I did not realize how big he is! He Looks the role of closer! Great weekend despite the Sunday rain.

  22. #22 by TimDz - May 19th, 2009 at 13:21

    Any thoughts on how long Marrero stays at Potomac? I am assuming that he will be heading to AA sometime this year. I am thinking of taking my kids to a game this weekend, weather permitting, and I would like to see Marerro play

    Brian, if I were to go, who else should I watch?

  23. #23 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 13:35

    Tim - I think you can feel comfortable that Marrero will still be there. Other guys to watch

    Burgess obviously … big time power, but long/loopy swing leads to Ks

    Espinosa … struggling pretty bad recently but fun to watch; musch faster than you would expect

    If my count is right, the weekend rotation should be (Fri-Sun) … Willems, Atwood & Mandel … all good choices

  24. #24 by NatsJunkie - May 19th, 2009 at 14:57

    Stammen pitching Thursday.

  25. #25 by DJ - May 19th, 2009 at 16:13

    NatsJunkie :Stammen pitching Thursday.

    For the Nats or for AAA-Syracuse?

  26. #26 by NatsJunkie - May 19th, 2009 at 16:32

    I was told For Washington vs. Pittsburgh. Still looking for confirmation. Not finding anything online.

  27. #27 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 16:35

    NatsJunkie - It’s Stammen’s regular turn (and would be Olsen’s spot)

    Let me see what I can find out

  28. #28 by Sue Dinem - May 19th, 2009 at 17:00

    I swung down to Kinston and Myrtle Beach on Fri-Sat and let me add that Kinston is a great place to catch a game, despite their racist-cartoon logos and the “heritage” bumper stickers and flags on some of the pickups and people. Suns fans would cringe because it’s a WPA-style park (though built in ‘49) that had a couple of million dollars’ worth of renovations and it’s not that hard to imagine Municipal Stadium looking just as good if they could get the funding. One oddity: The box seats are like cattle pens but with folding chairs.

  29. #29 by Berndaddy - May 19th, 2009 at 17:48

    I just heard Manny Acta say Ross Detwiler is starting on Saturday !!!! ON wtop

  30. #30 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 17:51

    MASN is reporting it as well

  31. #31 by Andrew Z. Stebbins - May 19th, 2009 at 18:01

    Brian Oliver :MASN is reporting it as well

    about Detwiler staying up or Stammen coming up?

  32. #32 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 18:03

    Detwiler on Saturday

  33. #33 by BinM - May 19th, 2009 at 18:37

    Ross D. certainly pitched well enough against the Bucs to warrant a 2nd start - He threw strikes, didn’t get rattled despite the errors behind him, and maintained his arm angle for the 5IP thrown. Now the question is, who fills the slot in HAR? That teams’ having enough problems without being a man short in the rotation.

  34. #34 by Brian Oliver - May 19th, 2009 at 18:40

    I’d imagine it would be Yunior Novoa and Johnny AllStaff again

  35. #35 by DJ - May 19th, 2009 at 18:41

    Brian Oliver :

    I’d imagine it would be Yunior Novoa and Johnny AllStaff again

    Yeah Novoa wasn’t all that bad in his last outing. It was tough b/c he found out right before the game that he’d be starting, a tough assignment to draw.

  36. #36 by BinM - May 19th, 2009 at 18:53

    Hmmm… Just looking at it, I’d have thought maybe Meyers from POT to HAR, Engles from HAG to POT, then possibly bring in Hassan Pena from the restricted list?

  37. #37 by TouchemAll - May 19th, 2009 at 20:40

    Nats Fan — I was also in Myrtle this past weekend and it is truly a beautiful park, the gem of the Carolina League.

    From my seat on Fri night it was pretty clear that King missed two bunt signs on the first two pitches of his at bat. After the first pitch, Jewett yelled to him and gave some very deliberate signs. King still didn’t bunt and Jewett walked down to have a face-to-face with him. Yes, he had him bunt with two strikes but I don’t think it was to “get in his head”, but rather to get a point across to pay attention and get the job done. Maybe that’s “old school”, so be it. He’s got to learn how to play the game. Sometimes I wonder where King’s head is? Take for example last night’s game in Kinston. Up 1-0 in the 9th with two outs, King gets thrown out trying to steal 3rd base. What purpose is served by that move? That’s just dumb baseball.

  38. #38 by Greg - May 20th, 2009 at 07:21

    Detwiler on Saturday, NICE.

  39. #39 by Nationals Fan - May 20th, 2009 at 11:22

    Stealing third base with 2 outs was Jewett’s call…and this is not something new for him. Maybe you should be asking where Jewett’s head is, because if King did miss a sign last Friday night he paid a steep price for it. The real question is, does Jewett have his own agenda (wants a big league job) or is he really in this for player development. Player development is why we have a minor league system, and coaches who help develop young talent move up. The “make or break” a player attitude of “old school” was lost when teams went to large investments in young players. A minor league coach/manager is there to help a player, not to “break” him.

  40. #40 by NatsJunkie - May 20th, 2009 at 13:57

    Very strong sources tell me Stammen on Thursday. Still not seeing anything official yet. I assume this means Cabrera is headed elsewhere.

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