In one of his first personnel decisions as Nationals manager Matt Williams has decided to shift left-hander Ross Detwiler to the bullpen full time, leaving Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark to compete for the final spot in the starting rotation.
Williams told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that Detwiler was “not happy” about the decision “but I wouldn’t expect him to be.”
Detwiler was used exclusively as a starter last season before being shut down with a herniated disk in his back and 69 of his 85 career appearances have come as a starter. However, he has a mediocre 4.02 ERA as a starter and Williams said he thinks Detwiler has a chance to be “something special out of the bullpen” as a late-inning reliever.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.