WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- Left-hander Ross Detwiler threw a solid 3 2/3 innings in a rehab outing at high Class A Potomac on Saturday night, and said he could be ready to come off the disabled list to start for the Nationals on Thursday.
Detwiler, 2-4 with a 2.76 ERA in eight starts this season, hadn't appeared in a game since May 15 and had been on the DL since May 27 with a right oblique strain. He had no issues with the oblique while throwing 60 pitches in his start against the Orioles' Frederick affiliate and expressed no concern about the injury coming back, saying he "just went out there and let it go."
"No, I feel like I'm over it," Detwiler said. "It lingered for quite a few weeks now, but I got rid of it."
Washington manager Davey Johnson had said that Detwiler could come off the DL to pitch on Wednesday in Colorado or Thursday in Cleveland, assuming his rehab start went well. After his outing, Detwiler said he would not be ready until the later date, which would allow him to go on a normal four days of rest.
Detwiler surrendered seven hits in 3 2/3 innings Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader. But all of those hits were singles, and he limited Frederick to one run. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four, all swinging.
"I didn't feel bad at all," Detwiler said. "It's the first time I've seen hitters in about a month, so it wasn't completely sharp, but it was good to go out there and get some contact and try to make the fielders work behind me."
Detwiler's main goal was to get sharp after a long layoff, and he threw 38 of his 60 pitches for strikes. He went with all four- and two-seam fastballs in the first two innings, then mixed in a healthy dose of breaking balls in the last two. Detwiler, who sat at a characteristic 91-95 mph with his heater, has used his offspeed stuff only about 10 percent of the time this year.
"I wouldn't say it was more than I normally would," Detwiler said. "That's the hardest thing to get a feel for and I hadn't thrown any [breaking balls] in the first two innings, so I had to go out there and match up my numbers a little bit."
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.