Detwiler Is Starting to Warm Up

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Though first-round draft pick Ross Detwiler struggled in his first two starts for Class A Potomac -- allowing nine earned runs in 7 1/3 innings -- the Nationals believed he would settle down. Potomac's defense is suspect, and Detwiler had been victimized by some bloop hits.

Monday night, he had his best outing for the P-Nats, while earning his first professional victory. Detwiler threw five scoreless innings, allowing three hits. He walked three and struck out three.

"He looked very good," said vice president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo, who was at the game in Kinston, N.C. "He touched 92 [mph], and his breaking pitches were sharp. It was encouraging."

Detwiler, a left-hander from Missouri State, now has 23 strikeouts and eight walks in 24 1/3 innings. . . .

Last year, the Nationals had three minor league players with 20 or more homers. Now, with two weeks left in the minor league season, five players have reached that mark -- Justin Maxwell (23), Chris Marrero (21), and Steve Mortimer, Michael Restovich and Josh Whitesell (all with 20). Maxwell, who had gotten off to a slow start with Potomac, is hitting .380 with seven homers and 16 RBI in 15 games since Aug. 4. . . .

RHP Beltran Perez, who made eight appearances for the Nationals last year, has a 2.83 ERA in seven starts since the all-star break for Class AA Harrisburg. Perez's ERA was 6.17 before the break.

-- Barry Svrluga

© 2007 The Washington Post Company