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Nationals' Ross Detwiler headed to bullpen

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Ross Detwiler has already been eliminated from contention for a job in the rotation.
Ross Detwiler has already been eliminated from contention for a job in the rotation. (USATSI)

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Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler made 27 starts in 2012 and was firmly entrenched in the rotation last season until derailed by an injury. This time around, he'll begin the season in the bullpen, manager Matt Williams told reporters. Apparently, Detwiler wasn't expecting this:

The front four in the Washington rotation are obvious in Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister. With Detwiler out, the battle for the final rotation spot is between Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan and Chris Young.

Detwiler, 28, was 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA (94 ERA+) and 1.49 WHIP in 71 1/3 innings last season, following up on a 10-8, 3.40 ERA (118 ERA+) season in 2012. His last start last season came on July 3, as a herniated disk in his back ended his season prematurely. In three starts this spring, Detwiler has been roughed up to the tune of a 6.43 ERA and 2.14 WHIP.

Roark, 27, was 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 0.91 WHIP last season. In his five starts, he was 3-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Jordan was 1-3 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in nine starts. Young is the former All-Star (with the Padres in 2007) but didn't make the majors last year, making nine starts for Nationals' minor-league affiliates.

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