Well I sure didn't see this coming. MASN says it'll be Ross Detwiler taking the start Monday.
With four games in two days, we need another arm. (Yes, I know we need more than one, and we needed them about a month ago, but I digress.) Rizzo is reaching past a group that's been pretty effective at Syracuse to tap the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft.
The lefty Detwiler certainly fits the profile of a Rizzo crush. He's a big arm with big groundball rates. And command problems. His stock fell last season with a pretty brutal first month at high-A Potomac. He bounced back to post a 3.85 ERA after July 1, but for the season his overall ERA was still way up at 4.86, which translates to a major league equivalent of 5.74 (that's what his '08 performance would translate to at the big league level). His problems last year were pretty obvious, as he walked 4.14 per 9.
He struggled to adjust his mechanics as the Nationals worked with him to not throw across his body as much. In the Arizona Fall League, reports were that his delivery looked much better, and he walked four in 11.2 innings. This year, promoted to AA Harrisburg, he's got his walks down to 3.29 per 9. All along he's had big strikeout numbers and groundball rates.
He has two plus pitches, a two-seam power sinker and a four-seam fastball. His curveball and change-up are developing off-speed pitches with the potential to be plus offerings as well.
If things have clicked for him, it's not hard to imagine him being a fast riser and performing at a high level right now. There's a reason he went #6 overall, and 23 isn't all that young.
Still, it's surprising to see him here so soon. And it's worrying, since it feels like they're trying to create buzz, which may not be the best thing for his development.
Personally, I think I don't like this. It'll make Monday more interesting viewing. But I'd still rather they called up J.D. Martin (Yeah, yeah 40 man roster. Whatever. Just dump Dmitri Young.)
P.S. I found this guy pitching in indy ball down in Texas who looks pretty good. I wonder if he's available?