Gonzalez, Detwiler returning to Nats camp

Gonzalez, Detwiler returning to Nats camp
March 16, 2013, 10:00 am
Share This Post

VIERA, Fla. -- Their run in the World Baseball Classic now over following the United States' 4-3, elimination loss to Puerto Rico last night, Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler will return to Nationals camp today and shift their attention back to preparing for the regular season.

Both left-handers acquitted themselves well for Team USA. Gonzalez started on Tuesday against Puerto Rico and tossed five scoreless innings, allowing only three runners to reach base. Detwiler came out of the bullpen Saturday against Italy and churned out four scoreless innings, earning the save in the process.

And both hurlers spoke of the positive experience they got pitching in a high-pressure environment even though the calendar still reads March, experience that could prove helpful as this season plays out.

Now, though, both Gonzalez and Detwiler must work their way back into the Nationals' rotation and align themselves for the season's first week.

In Gonzalez's case, this won't be a problem at all. He managed to keep himself on a regular, five-day schedule in the WBC and is lined up to take his regular turn in the Nationals' rotation tomorrow against the Tigers.

Detwiler's situation is a bit more complicated. It's already been seven days since he last pitched, and his next turn in the Nationals' rotation falls on Tuesday, an off-day for the team. Even if he gets some work in minor-league camp that day, Detwiler will be pitching for the first time in 10 days.

Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty has been fiddling around with his master pitching schedule and worrying at times about how he's going to put all the pieces of the puzzle back together. But manager Davey Johnson -- who has taken to referring to McCatty as "Mother Hen" -- isn't nearly as concerned and trusts that Team USA pitching coaches Greg Maddux and Marcel Lachemann took care of his two lefties.

"I am sure between Lachemann and Maddux, their throwing program is just like what they're doing here, and they've had plenty of mound work under the tutelage of two great pitching coaches," Johnson said. "I'm not concerned at all about that. I'm sure both of them are learning from guys that know a lot about pitching. I think it's a great experience. Whatever work schedule they're on, I'm not the least bit worried."