Detwiler back from Classic, ready to pitch for Nats

Detwiler back from Classic, ready to pitch for Nats

VIERA, Fla. -- With Team USA out of the World Baseball Classic, left-hander Ross Detwiler returned to Nationals camp Saturday, while left-hander Gio Gonzalez will report to camp Monday. Gonzalez remained in Miami to be with his family.

Detwiler will get to work right away, pitching against the Tigers on Sunday. As of now, he is slated to be the fifth starter in Washington's rotation, while Dan Haren will be the fourth starter, according to manager Davey Johnson. Haren is ahead of Detwiler because the righty has more experience.

Before getting back to work with the Nats, Detwiler talked about how much he enjoyed playing in the Classic, even though his squad was eliminated by Puerto Rico on Friday.

"There are a lot of competitors out there," Detwiler said. "It's kind of fun to break the monotony of Spring Training a little bit. We actually compete on the world's stage and see what everybody else had to offer."

One of Detwiler's biggest moments was being coached by pitching coach Greg Maddux and manager Joe Torre. Detwiler admired those future Hall of Famers as a kid while growing up in Missouri.

"You see all the big names on the coaching staff," Detwiler said. "They are people whose cards you collected when you were little. Now they are teaching you little things that they know about the game -- to help you out and put you in the right direction. It's kind of unspeakable how that goes. It's pretty incredible."

Obviously, Detwiler picked Maddux's brain about attacking hitters and what he would throw in different pitch counts.

"He would walk up and down the dugout and ask random questions -- what we would do in certain situations or why you thought something went wrong," Detwiler said about Maddux.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.