Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Trim Spring Training Roster To 42 - Anthony Rendon Optioned To Double-A; Six More Optioned/Re-Assigned

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals optioned or reassigned seven players this morning including Anthony Rendon, Eury Perez and Matt Skole trimming their Spring Training roster to 42 before they take on the Houston Astros this afternoon in Grapefruit League action live from Space Coast Stadium.

Writers in Viera, Florida covering Spring Training arrived at the Washington Nationals' facilities this morning to find several of the young Nats in camp packing their bags. Nationals' manager Davey Johnson told reporters on Wednesday morning that the next round of "cuts" or options and re-assignments was on the way and the Nationals announced the moves this morning:

None of the moves were particularly surprising. In spite of Anthony Rendon's impressive Spring, he was going to be sent down as Davey Johnson told reporters a few weeks back and as D.C. GM Mike Rizzo explained just yesterday. The moves trim the Nationals' Spring Training roster to 42. More info in today's links with comments from both the Nats' GM and their skipper on today's moves. Let's get to it, links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Anthony Rendon, the Nationals top overall prospect, and Matt Skole, the organization’s top slugging prospect, were among the cuts from major league camp Thursday morning..." - "Anthony Rendon, Matt Skole among camp cuts" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "The Washington Nationals made a round of cuts from major league camp Thursday morning..." - "Anthony Rendon, Matt Skole, Nate Karns among seven Nationals cut from major league camp" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals made their second round of spring training cuts this morning, sending top prospect Anthony Rendon and six others to minor-league camp." - "Rendon among 7 players cut from Nats camp" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "The Nationals officially sent seven players to minor league camp today, a group that includes infielders Anthony Rendon and Matt Skole and right-hander Nathan Karns." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson discusses Rendon's role this season, other cuts" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

Today's Nats' Lineup vs Houston Astros:

AUDIO: Listen to Bryce Harper on 106.7 the FAN In D.C.'s Sports Junkies HERE.

• "Bryce Harper continues to hit the cover off the baseball this spring, only elevating expectations for what could be to come in his second major league season." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper still streaking in spring (Nats beat Mets 8-5, beat Astros 9-7)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Bryce] Harper acknowledged that Spring Training is long and wishes the season already started, but he still has to get better in the outfield." - "In Nationals' third spot, Harper thriving" - Bill Ladson and Paul Hagen, nationals.com: News

• "Ahead of his second season in the majors, [Bryce] Harper has grand hopes." - "Bryce Harper in mid-season form at the plate" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "'I don't think anybody's shocked about him being the opening day guy,' [Bryce] Harper said. 'He's pretty unbelievable. It's going to be good to have him all year long.'" - Harper on Strasburg - "Harper's 4 RBIs lead Nationals over Mets" - AP/WTOP.com

• "After experiencing a dead arm last week, right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was solid on the mound Wednesday, while the Nationals defeated the Mets, 8-5, at Space Coast Stadium." - "Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper highlights split-squad win" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The other day, [Bryce] Harper sent a tweet asking, 'Can't it just be April 1st already,' clearly expressing a desire for opening day to arrive." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper not getting carried away by red-hot spring" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann might have gone even deeper into this game if not for a laborious, 30-pitch, top of the first that was prolonged by a pair of miscues in the field..." - "No 'dead arm' issue for Zimmermann this time" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann is still developing his changeup, and it was working Wednesday." - "Zimmermann stretches out with start against Mets" - Bill Ladson and Paul Hagen, nationals.com: News

• "'I felt great today,' [Jordan Zimmermann] said. 'I mean, the other time I was a little sore, but today I felt really good and it felt good to stretch it out and throw 80 pitches or whatever.'" - "Jordan Zimmermann returns to form, Wilson Ramos to catch back-to-back games" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "For the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee, Ramos will catch back-to-back games..." - "Wilson Ramos to catch back-to-back games for first time since surgery" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Manager Davey Johnson informed [Wilson] Ramos of the plan this morning during batting practice, and the 25-year-old couldn't hide his enthusiasm." - "Ramos catching back-to-back days" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'Jordan threw the heck out of the ball,' manager Davey Johnson said. 'Threw the ball great. Threw some good change-ups. Got 80 pitches in, I think 81. That was a good outing.'" - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson on Storen, Harper, Ramos and more after Nats' 8-5 win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Anthony Rendon had four hits for the Natonals, including a two-run home run in the eighth inning." - "Astros' Bedard returns to mound and strikes out 3" - AP/WTOP.com

• "After second baseman Rick Hague tied the game with an RBI groundout, Anthony Rendon delivered the decisive blow with a two-run homer over the right-center-field fence." - "Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon goes 4-for-5 in comeback win" - Paul Casella, nationals.com: News

• "Based on the way [Davey] Johnson operates his bullpens, he wasn’t a believer in left-handed specialists; he preferred left-handers who could handle an entire inning." - "More on the shape of the Nationals bullpen" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "'Anytime you get to pitch on an international level like this one, which has grown into a great event, it's a great experience,' Johnson said." - "Nationals Pastime: Gonzalez lining up to start WBC title game, cuts looming for Nats (plus notes and lineups)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "It appears all but a certainty now that the Nationals will open the season with Bryce Harper hitting third and Ryan Zimmerman sliding down into the cleanup role consistently for the first time in his career." - "A 1-2 punch in the 3-4 spots" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Soon [Gio] Gonzalez would turn in five scoreless innings of work in a performance that toggled between dominant and electric and impressed anyone who watched." - "Gio Gonzalez lives dream pitching for Team USA on home turf" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The flame-throwing right-handed reliever can be extreme at either end of the spectrum, otherworldly stuff or mind-boggling wildness." - "As bullpen comes into focus, Nationals view Henry Rodriguez as an important part" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Relievers Craig Stammen and Tyler Moore watched the Classic game together at a restaurant and noticed how dominant [GIo] Gonzalez was in the game." - "Gio's Nats teammates express pride in pitcher" - Bill Ladson and Paul Hagen, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "[Matt Harvey] ssued a leadoff walk to Denard Span, saw Werth reach on an error and then allowed Bryce Harper’s three-run blast." - "NY Mets young pitcher Matt Harvey taken deep by Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, but recovers well" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

• "Against the Mets Wednesday in spring action, Zimmermann worked 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits and a run, but that's not the most important takeaway." - "Jordan Zimmermann strikes out six, 'dead arm' no longer a concern" - Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com

Gio on MLB Network's Intentional Talk:


• NATSTOWN:

• "'They need to get some Capitude and some Wizitude or something like that,' [Bryce] Harper joked." - "Bryce Harper: Caps and Wizards need Capitude and Wizitude" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog

• "Video: Michael Morse in 2013 Mariners commercial" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nats Sweep 'Doubleheader'" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "Video: Gio on Intentional Talk" - Nats Enquirer

• "March 14: Senators Birthdays - John Wyeth (Red) Marion B Mar. 14, 1914 D Mar. 13, 1975" - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Anthony Rendon was cut from the spring training roster. BUT HE WAS HITTING SO WELL!!!" - "Every damn year" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "It may not be time yet to finalize your bet on when Anthony Rendon could join the Washington Nationals’ roster – but the 22-year-old gives cause to get excited about what the Nats have in store in the months ahead." - "Washington Nationals Spring Training: Anthony Rendon hits fourth homer of spring in Nats’ 9-7 win over Astros" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "Harper’s Projection Problem" - The Nationals Review

• "Get To Know A Nat: Chad Tracy" - Nationals 101

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "And that was the theme at Mets camp on Wednesday: All conflicts between Santana and the Mets are resolved, and everyone is friendly again." - "Johan Santana says issues with NY Mets have been ironed out, endorses Jon Niese as opening day starter" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Phillies: "One of Rich Dubee's favorite sayings is, 'He's fine.' The Phillies pitching coach will summon it in any situation - good or bad - when pressed about a particular arm." - "Phillies pitching coach: Roy Halladay is 'fine'" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Braves: "Manager Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves know not to make too much of spring-training statistics, but utility infielder Ramiro Pena has impressed everyone in camp..." - "Braves like what they’ve seen from infielder Pena" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Marlins: "Nobody could have ever guessed from the smile on his face that Jose Fernandez had just been told he was being sent to the minors." - "Jose Fernandez sent to minors -- maybe for last time" - Clark Spence, Fish Bytes, Miami Herald

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