The Washington Nationals made another round of cuts after this afternoon's win over the New York Mets. Nats' skipper Matt Williams said before today's game that there would be announcements afterwards which came via the Nationals' official Twitter account:
The #Nats have optioned RHP Ryan Mattheus, LHP Xavier Cedeno & 1B/OF Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 25, 2014
The decision to option Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse was a little bit surprising, but Ryan Mattheus dealt with an issue in his chest this spring (costochondritis) that set back his preparation for the 2014 campaign. Xavier Cedeno entered the spring as the top candidate for the second spot in the Nats' bullpen if they kept two lefties, but the decision to move Ross Detwiler into a relief role meant he would only stay if the team kept three left-handers.
Those weren't the only announcements...
Additionally, the #Nats have released RHP Chris Young and INF Jamey Carroll.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 25, 2014
With Tyler Moore optioned out and Jamey Carroll released, that leaves Jeff Kobernus and catcher Sandy Leon in the race for the final spot on the Nationals' bench. (Assuming Danny Espinosa has a spot locked down). Chris Young was mentioned as a possibility for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but it was fairly clear that the race was really between Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan. Williams reiterated this afternoon that no decision on the fifth starter has been made yet, but he did say that whichever pitcher doesn't win the spot will end up in Triple-A instead of the bullpen:
Roark is not an option for the 'pen at this point. If Fister is healthy, either Roark or Jordan makes rotation, the other goes to AAA— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) March 25, 2014
With the announcement of the cuts and announcements was also a positive note, as the Nationals announced that they informed 26-year-old right-hander Aaron Barrett that he would be making the Opening Day roster...
The #Nats have informed RHP Aaron Barrett that he has made the Major League team.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 25, 2014
More info when it's available...