Detwiler to start Thursday

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Ross Detwiler will return to the Nationals’ rotation, and he’ll do it in two days. Jim Riggleman said today that the rookie left-hander will start Thursday’s series finale against the Phillies. J.D. Martin, who had been originally scheduled to start, will now go Friday against the Mets. Marco Estrada will be bumped to the bullpen.

Riggleman said Detwiler, who is on a very strict innings limit, will perhaps make one more start after this, but that will be it for the season. So Estrada probably will start again before the year ends.

Here are some thoughts from Detwiler and GM Mike Rizzo…

ROSS DETWILER

On pitching two scoreless innings out of the bullpen Saturday night: “It was great to get in there and get some work and actually see some hitters compete. I think there’s a lot to take out of it. I threw mostly fastballs there, just trying to get back in the groove.”

On the importance of this last start or two: “They’re giving me another opportunity to go out there and start. I really want to get the ball rolling and go into spring training being able to compete for a job.”

On the importance of closing the season on a high note: “Absolutely. I mean, it’s a clean slate going into spring training pretty much. But I want to get a few things done. I want to get that first win. I want to finish up the year strong.”

MIKE RIZZO

On what he’s still looking for out of Detwiler this season: “I’m looking for him just to garner innings in the major leagues. He’s at prospect status right now. We want him to turn from a prospect into a reliable major leaguer. And that happens when you garner enough innings in the big leagues. I guess what we’re looking for is for him to get experience on the major league level and to show the skills that he’s always shown flashes of.”

On his impressions of Detwiler earlier this year: “He certainly looked and felt like a major league pitcher. He looked like it and he felt like it, which is very important. Those were the good things. His stuff is a good thing. There’s not many lefties in the league that have as good of stuff as he does, 94, touching 95 at times, and a good breaking ball. Some of the things he needs to work on now and into the winter is throwing to both sides of the plate, into the four quadrants. He’s very effective pitching to the arm side of the plate. He needs to concentrate and get better pitching to the glove side. Just make improvements like any other [23] year old pitcher needs to make. I do need to remind myself that he’s [23] years old with really good stuff, and a big arm and a bright future.”

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Mark Zuckerman

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