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Tanner Roark crowded out by ... Shane McCatty?

As many of you may remember, last year the Nationals traded Christian Guzman to the Texas Rangers for two minor league pitchers, Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark.  For the Nationals it was a good trade, deepening the talent pool in the minors, clearing Guzman's remaining salary and opening a spot for Danny Espinosa.  Guzman proceeded to stink up the joint in Texas, posting a .154/.204/.174, was left off of the postseason roster and is currently a free agent (he is reportedly likely to miss at least the first half of this season with family issues). Both Roark and Tatusko performed well up to the AA level last year; Tatusko was particularly effective at Harrisburg, but Roark more than held his own.  So far, so good.

Inspired in part by Souldrummer's series of minor league posts last year, since last season I've been paying a lot more attention to the Nationals' minor league system.  One of my favorite ways  to scratch this itch that is by regularly checking in on Nationals Prospects. NP, led by the indefatigable Sue Dinem (sound it out), has been posting the Nationals' minor league team rosters as they've been announced (for those who are curious, Harper officially was named to the Hagerstown (Low A) roster to start the season. For gluttons for punishment, here are the rosters for Potomac (High A, Harrisburg (AA) and Syracuse (AAA).

Looking through the rosters, I eventually noticed an odd fact:  although Tatusko is returning to AA Harrisburg to continue his climb up the Nationals' ladder, Roark's name is no where to be found.  Well, OK - thanks to Rizzo it's clear that pitching depth is at a premium. I couldn't find Sammy Solis's name anywhere either, although I know Solis isn't cut; I've heard that he's had an injury setback and is rehabbing in FL in extended spring training.  Maybe the same sort of thing is true of Roark

But one thing I did notice that kind of bugs me.  On the Hagerstown roster is one Shane McCatty. Yep - he's Steve McCatty's boy.  I deeply and sincerely hope that the Nationals aren't cutting or holding back players like Roark, who have some chance of helping the Nationals someday (even if only as a middle relief type), in favor of the pitching coach's son (Shane's stats in low A ball are extremely mediocre).  To me that would be very unprofessional, and I truly hope that Rizzo and crew don't stoop to that level.

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