- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Washington Nationals coaching staff got its first look at Ross Detwiler on the mound yesterday afternoon and was immediately impressed with the organization’s first-round draft pick.

“Oh, he’s got electric stuff,” manager Manny Acta said after watching the 21-year-old left-hander throw in the bullpen before last night’s game against the Florida Marlins.

“Obviously, his command and location of pitches, even in that bullpen session, is not there. But boy, that’s good stuff right there. It’s good to see and encouraging to know that in the future we’ll have a guy like that.”

Detwiler, who was promoted from Class A Potomac on Tuesday, will be available to pitch out of the bullpen starting tomorrow. The Nationals don’t plan to throw him into any difficult situations, saving him instead for blowouts, but they are eager to see how he responds.

Yesterday’s throwing session was the first opportunity for Acta and pitching coach Randy St. Claire to watch Detwiler firsthand. St. Claire said he picked up on a few mechanical glitches in the young hurler’s delivery, but those won’t be addressed until the offseason.

“They have kind of an unwritten rule in the minor leagues: Drafted kids, you let them pitch,” St. Claire said. “Let them pitch and see if they can pitch with what they were drafted with. But probably every guy needs to make adjustments here and there. After the season, we’ll make some minor adjustments to help him get more consistent in certain areas.”

Detwiler will return to Springfield, Mo., next month and resume taking classes at Missouri State. He will work out with his old college pitching coach during the winter, taking St. Claire’s advice.

“We have some things picked out that they want me to work on in the offseason,” he said. “It’s really great just to work with any pitching coach, get everybody’s perspective on what I do right and what I do wrong. And a big league pitching coach is the best. It was great to have him out there watching me.”

Day off for Dmitri

Stuck in a 3-for-18 slump over the last week, first baseman Dmitri Young was given a rare night off by Acta.

Washington’s cleanup hitter’s average has fallen from .337 to .330, its lowest point in more than a month, during that span. He has hit into five double plays in his last three games.

“It’ll be good for him,” Acta said. “He looks to me like he needs a day off. I’ve just seen him foul off a couple of pitches that usually he just doesn’t foul off.”

Zimmerman honored

Ryan Zimmerman was honored before last night’s game as the Nationals’ recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, given to one player from each team who “combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.”

Zimmerman was presented with a check for $7,500 for his ziMS Foundation, which he created last year to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, a disease his mother, Cheryl, was diagnosed with in 1995.

Major League Baseball will name its league-wide recipient of the award during the World Series.

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