After optioning Austin Voth to Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday, the Washington Nationals announced this morning that they optioned right-hander Jefry Rodriguez and infielder Kelvin Gutierrez to Double-A Harrisburg in the latest round of roster cuts.
Rodriguez, 24, made 12 appearances (10 as a starter) at High-A Potomac in the Nationals’ system in 2017, going (4-3) with a 3.32 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 19 walks (3.00 BB/9), and 51 Ks (8.05 K/9) in 57 innings pitched, with the limited action the result an 80-game suspension for a failed PED test which he began serving last May.
Gutierrez, 23, missed time with a sprained ankle in June-August, but played a total of 58 games with the P-Nats in 2017 (and 10 games with the Gulf Coast Nationals), putting up a .288/.347/.414 line, 10 doubles, six triples, and two home runs in 245 plate appearances at High-A.
MLB’s Pipeline scouts ranked Gutierrez 10th in the Nationals’ system on their Top 30 list for 2018 when it was released earlier this winter, with the write-up on the third baseman noting that the Nats, “... view Gutierrez as one of the better pure hitters in their system.”
Gutierrez represented the Nationals in the Arizona Fall League this year as well, putting up a .350/.478/.475 line with a triple and a home run in 13 games.
In 14 games this Spring, Gutierrez went 6 for 26 (.231/.323/.269) with a double, four walks, and five Ks before he was optioned out today.
Rodriguez made three appearances in Grapefruit League action, giving up two hits and one earned run in three innings on the mound over which he walked two batters, struck out two, and held hitters to a .182 BAA.