ATLANTA -- A day after being told he was being demoted to the bullpen, Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler said he would prefer to be a starter, but understands why Chien-Ming Wang is being put in the rotation.
"We have a guy that is year in and year out winning games. I wasn't getting the job done at the time. I still have a chance to put on a big league uniform," Detwiler said. "The way I look at it, I'm going from the best starting rotation in the big leagues to the best bullpen."
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like a no-brainer that Detwiler would remain in the rotation, but he has not pitched well in his last three starts and has seen his ERA climb from 2.10 to 3.88. It also didn't help that he threw 100 pitches in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves on Friday.
"I didn't think the last start was as bad as it looked. I was just missing here and there. I thought that was an easier fix than anything else," Detwiler said. "I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and throwing strikes and not falling behind every hitter."
Wang, who started the season on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring, made his season debut on Friday and pitched well, allowing one run in three innings to earn the win. Wang was slated to start the season as the fifth starter before he was injured.
"If he didn't get hurt, I wouldn't even have the chance to start games anyway. He is just coming back and claiming his spot. That's all it is," Detwiler said.
Detwiler will not be available to work out of the bullpen until Tuesday or Wednesday. He will be treated as if he will be a starter and will probably be available to pitch every fifth day.
Pitching coach Steve McCatty said that there is nothing wrong with Detwiler's mechanics. He needs to attack the strike zone better.
"It getting back to the trust of hitting your spots and being aggressive and say, 'Here, I'm going to put it in play.' Sometimes, when you struggle the worst you can do is try to do more," McCatty said.