Perhaps lost a bit in the flood of the Acta firing, Garrett MockJim Riggleman hiring (did you know he went to high school in Rockville, MD at Richard Montgomery? I just found that out), was the announcement this weekend that the Nats are sending Detwiler down to the minors in exchange for Garrett Mock. I can’t say I blame ’em.

While Detwiler has had some success with the Nats, lately it’s been rough. I mean really rough. Since his first two starts where he looked pretty good, he’s started 8 more games. He’s pitched 41 innings, only walked 18 but only struck out 23. His ERA in that span has been 7.46. He’s only been in pro baseball for 2 seasons, so it’s not like he’s a huge disappointment at this point. It’s time for him to go back to the minors, and his demotion to AAA will actually bring his first appearance at that level. Hopefully he can finish working on his mechanics there, and come back stronger.

As for the newbie to the rotation, he should be familiar to most Nats fans. He already has 3 career starts, all in 2008, and has pitched a total of 54 innings in the majors. Not brilliant this year, he looked pretty good in 2008. He does have 52 Ks in those innings, but 31 BB. Here is what Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus, who writes their Minor League Update, had to say about Mock:

He’s always had good stuff, but the results have rarely matched. A conversion to a bullpen role early in the year was about as brief as it was successful, but he’s suddenly shining back in a starting role. In his last five games, he has allowed just two runs over 35 innings. Oh yeah, and the stuff is still there, as he’s pounding the strike zone with a fastball that gets up to 93 mph and two quality breaking balls.

Sounds like there may be something more than just a quadruple-A type who has matured enough to dominate the minors but fail in the majors. Mock’s numbers this year has reflected this recent improvement. His 2009 AAA numbers: 13 appearances, 8 starts, 5-1, 2.65 ERA, 51 IP, 13 BB, 48 K, 34 H. Even better than that, his last 10 appearances: 5-1, 1.47 ERA, 49 IP, 8 BB, 47 K, 34 H. Can’t really do any better than that, time to move up a level!

By Charlie