Detwiler made his season debut July 5 against the Cubs as a starter, pitching 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball, before Washington decided to keep him around as a reliever. He pitched 10 innings over five appearances since, allowing only two runs.
"He's made quality pitches when I brought him in," manager Davey Johnson said. "He had a great Spring Training. By all tokens, he should have made the club out of the spring. He was probably the best pitcher in the spring."
Gorzelanny, who the Nationals signed in the offseason to compete for the fifth starter's spot, moves to the bullpen "for now," according to Johnson.
"But who knows?" the skipper said. "Things change around here."
Gorzelanny has been a disappointment, going 2-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 15 starts. He was unable to complete at least five innings in three of his six starts since a stint on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. But Johnson said the decision is not a reflection of Gorzelanny as much as an attempt to give the 25-year-old Detwiler some experience.
"If we were fighting for a pennant, we might not do it," Johnson said. "But since we're where we're at, it's time to start looking at some young arms."
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.