One night after watching Chien-Ming Wang labor through another start while Ross Detwiler dominated out of the bullpen, Nationals manager Davey Johnson has decided to have the two pitchers swap roles again.
Detwiler will return to the Nationals' rotation and start Sunday's game in Baltimore, with Wang returning to a long reliever's role as the club tries to get the veteran right-hander back on track.
The decision was made in the wake of Tuesday night's game, which saw Wang last only 3 13 inning and allow five runs on seven hits and three walks, then saw Detwiler retire 11 of the 12 batters he faced out of the bullpen.
"If you had compared Detwiler's performance last night with his last two outings, it's a totally different pitcher," Johnson said. "He was dominating last night, very aggressive after the hitters. And his last two starts, he was kind of pitching defensively, not attacking the hitter. I think the stint in the bullpen, if anything, helped him."
Wang, who posted a 6.62 ERA and a staggering 2.264 WHIP over his four starts, will continue to be used on a starter's schedule out of the bullpen. He'll also work with pitching coach Steve McCatty on a mechanical glitch that has caused Wang's throwing arm to lag behind his body and affect his ability to command his trademark sinker.
"I really like where his arm strength is at, but I need him to get back comfortable," Johnson said. "I was hoping he could work it out starting, but in conversations with McCatty I think maybe it would be best to see if he can't work it out with less stress on him."