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Detwiler leaning on teammates in bullpen role

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler has been a starter during most of his big league career. Now he is trying figure out what his role is on the team. As of now, he is a long reliever and trying to get into a rhythm. Detwiler is receiving a lot of help from his teammates in the bullpen.

"A lot of the guys [in the bullpen] are helping me out," Detwiler said. "In the beginning of the game, when the starters are kind of cruising, we'll just sit back and talk about different things. That has helped out a lot, whether it's talking about a hitter or holding a pitch or just trying new things."

It's hard for Detwiler to see a lot of action lately because the starters have gone until at least the sixth or seventh inning in a game. Entering Tuesday's action, Detwiler had appeared in 18 games and had a 4.78 ERA. He last pitched Monday against the Giants and allowed a run in two innings. Detwiler has appeared in only two games during the month of June.

"We have been playing a lot of one-run games and we get our proven guys in there," Detwiler said. "Obviously, I want to pitch every chance I get. We have guys that are in certain roles. They have been in those roles a lot this year."

Asked if he plans to go to manager Matt Williams about getting more playing time out of the bullpen, Detwiler said, "I don't think it's my position to ask for certain things. He has been doing what he feels is best for the team to win that given day. I want to be in the plans; it just hasn't fallen that way this year."

Detwiler said he feels most comfortable as a starter. His best season was in 2012, going 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 33 games (27 starts). He missed most of last year because of a back injury.

"That's where I'm most comfortable. You are able to get a routine down. You know when you are going to pitch," Detwiler said. "I'm always a good routine person. It changed a little bit -- how much you run, how much you lift. Through all that stuff between starts, that's the biggest difference."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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