Jan 31, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 28
How acquired: Drafted 1st round (6th pick), June 2007
2014 salary: $3 million
2013 Stats: 13 GS, 71.1 IP, 92 H, 37 R, 32 ER, 5 HR, 14 BB, 39 K, 1.486 WHIP, 2-7, 4.04 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 0.9 WAR
2014 storyline: For Detwiler it’s a bit difficult to project his 2014 season, as it currently depends heavily on how the fifth starter competition shakes out. He could find himself back in the Nats’ rotation, or in the bullpen as a long reliever.
Detwiler is more proven than his counterparts Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark, but the latter two were more effective in 2013. Detwiler battled injuries and pitched just 71 1/3 innings. In 2012 he was just what the doctor ordered, but will that guy return? If he does it would be great for the Nationals who saw him pitch masterfully in the 2012 playoffs.
Best-case scenario: Detwiler showed two years ago what he’s capable of given a full season of health, but that was just a glimpse of his potential. There are plenty of reasons to believe the lefty can be even better if everything breaks his way.
The best-case scenario for Detwiler – a realistic ideal – would be 180+ innings and an ERA in the low-3.00s. If he could put together a season like that, he’d cement the Nationals’ rotation as the deepest in baseball and set himself up as an extremely valuable trade chip for a future offseason.
Worst-case scenario: Though 2013 was an unfortunate season for Detwiler, it can always get worse. His 4.04 ERA in the time he was healthy was actually pretty decent, considering. A worst-case scenario for Detwiler would definitely include injuries limiting him to less than 100 innings, and perhaps an ERA north of 5.00.
Most-likely scenario: Detwiler says he’s healthy and can’t wait to get down to Florida for spring training. You can tell he’s motivated and anxious to put last season behind him. Assuming health, the most likely result for Detwiler is to make the fifth starter spot, hold an ERA in the mid-3.00s and help the Nationals win a playoff series with several important relief appearances. He was perfect for his role in 2012 and that’s all the Nats need from him this season.
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