There weren’t too many unanswered questions at this point, what with players making their own announcements on social media these days, but the Washington Nationals made their Opening Day roster official this morning.
The 25-Man roster, as the Nationals noted in a press release this morning, “... is comprised of 11 pitchers (four starting pitchers, seven relievers), two catchers, seven infielders, and five outfielders.
As rumored, the Nationals optioned Joe Ross to Triple-A (since they don’t need a fifth starter until later this month) and reassigned veteran reliever Jeremy Guthrie to minor league camp this morning, allowing them to keep both Michael A. Taylor and Wilmer Difo on the major league roster.
Just five players on the 25-Man roster (Adam Lind, Matt Wieters, Joe Blanton, Enny Romero and Adam Eaton) are new to the club, having joined the Nationals since the end of the 2016 season.
Here’s the official Nationals’ Opening Day roster for 2017:
The Nationals also made their rotation plans for the opening series with the Miami Marlins official last night, announcing that it will be Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez facing the Fish with Max Scherzer pushed back to the first game of three with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday afternoon.
Dusty Baker’s crew will try to defend their NL East title after the Nationals failed to do so in the season following each of their two previous division winners in 2012 and 2014.
Baker told reporters on Saturday that the only question mark on the roster right now is Anthony Rendon, though he stressed that the third baseman’s calf issue (the result of a foul ball) is not considered serious.
“He’s doing better,” Baker explained.
“He’s still a little sore, so he’s not playing today, and he might even be a question a little bit for Opening Day. We’re not sure, but we’d rather have him miss Opening Day possibly then we have a day off after that and be ready to play the next day than take a chance and miss him for 10 days or two weeks.”
“He does feel a lot better than yesterday,” Baker added.
We’ll see if Rendon is in the Opening Day lineup when it is announced...