ATLANTA — Stuck in the bullpen while the Nationals have used five other starting pitchers, Ross Detwiler may get another crack out of the rotation sometime next week.
Jim Riggleman said the Nats hope to give Detwiler at least one more start before season's end, most likely sometime during a stretch of 13 games in 13 days that begins Friday in Philadelphia.
The Nationals could decide to have veteran Livan Hernandez skip a turn in the rotation, or they could insert Detwiler as a sixth starter and give everyone else an extra day off.
The sixth-overall pick in the country in 2007 out of Missouri State, Detwiler has long been touted as a potential long-term member of the Nationals' rotation. But he was inconsistent over 14 starts last season and has missed most of this season with a hip injury that required surgery in February.
Detwiler did make three starts in late-July and early-August before heading back to the disabled list with a recurrence of hip pain. He rejoined the club last week as a September call-up and has pitched well in two relief appearances (he allowed one hit over two scoreless innings last Tuesday against the Mets, then issued one walk over two hitless innings last night against the Braves).
Riggleman said the staff would like to give Detwiler a three-inning relief appearance before he starts again, allowing him to build up his stamina a bit and be able to go five innings after that.
In five total big-league appearances this season, Detwiler is 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA, though eight of the 13 runs he's allowed have been unearned.