Young Nats Staff On Horizon?

The Nationals are spending much of September evaluating their young pitchers. They moved Tom Gorzelanny out of the rotation in August and shut down Livan Hernandez for the season in September.

They've given rotation spots to rookies Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock and are giving 2007 first-round pick Ross Detwiler another look as a starting pitcher. In the last week, that decision has paid big dividends.

After Milone threw six shutout innings in the first game of the Nationals' doubleheader sweep of the Phillies, Detwiler pitches 7 1/3 shutout innings of his own, allowing only three hits as the Nationals finished the night with a 3-0 victory.

The team has won six straight games on the road, and Milone, Peacock and Detwiler have three of those wins. Had the Nationals not blown a 3-0 lead in the first game, Milone would have given the trio its fourth win.

It's likely that one of the three pitchers won't be in the Nationals' rotation next year, assuming Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan are all healthy. But the Nationals' decision to give spots to their young pitchers is helping them build rotation depth for next year.

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