Washington Nationals Cut Ten; Roster Down to 58

Your Washington Nationals made ten cuts this morning to pare the roster to 58 players in the big league camp.

Here's the text of the press release:

The Washington Nationals today re-assigned left-handed pitcher Justin Jones, right-handed pitchers Bobby Brownlie, Preston Larrison and J.D. Martin, catcher Javier Herrera, infielders Chris Marrero and Matt Whitney, and outfielder Destin Hood to minor league camp. The Nationals also optioned left-handed pitcher Mike O’Connor to Triple-A Syracuse and left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler to Double-A Harrisburg. Nationals Vice President of Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager Mike Rizzo made this announcement.

After today’s moves, the Nationals’ spring roster stands at 58.

I don't think there are any real surprises here, but the names that merit a second mention are Detwiler, Marrero and the trio of free agent relievers, Brownlie, Larrison and Martin.

Detwiler, long heralded as one of the top prospects in the system, saw the luster fall from his star last year and being included in the first cuts, especially with the recurrance of Hill's injury, has to hurt.  He's obviously been leapfrogged by Zimmermann and one has to hope that he goes out and blows people away this season, or he may fade into the realm of "never reached his potential".  His GB% was still very good last year, despite his mediocre traditional stats, and he is just 23.

Marrero is younger still--he won't be 21 until July.  Part of the problem with the Nationals is that they have so few true prospects to hang their hats on, the ones they do have become household names.  It seems that we've been hearing about Marerro for years, and the casual fan might see his name today and get disappointed.  But he needs to get a healthy full season in the minors under his belt.  Baseball Prospectus includes Manny Ramirez as one of his comparables at this point in his career.  He's worth waiting for.

As for the free agent pitchers, I'm sure we haven't heard the last out of any of them for this season.  The Nats are probably going to have a revolving door in the bullpen this season, and Brownlie, Larrison and Martin are the kinds of guys that real big league teams stock at AAA to fill in when injuries/attrition/performance suffers on the MLB roster.  None of them are going to remind anyone of Goose Gossage, but all are capable of getting big league hitters out if they are used appropriately--and sparingly.

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