Less than twenty-four hours before pitchers and catchers are set to report to West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for the start of Spring Training, Washington’s Nationals announced their full list of non-roster invitees to big league camp.
Some of the interesting names: Right-handed prospect Wil Crowe; 18-year-old infielder Luis Garcia; top infield prospect Carter Kieboom; reliever Vidal Nuño, who could push for a spot in the Nationals’ bullpen; and one-time National Aaron Barrett, who’s trying to get back after suffering a devastating fractured elbow.
Here’s the full list of the Nationals’ non-roster invitees for 2019 Spring Training:
Henderson Alvarez, 28, is another interesting name, giving the Nationals starting depth in the event that they need it, though that seemed like more of an issue before they added a couple of veteran right-handers in Aníbal Sánchez and Jeremy Hellickson.
“Minor league contract. Coming to big league Spring Training. Chance to make the team and if not to pitch in Triple-A for us,” Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told reporters after signing the right-hander in December.
Alvarez, who has six seasons in the majors on his resume, went (9-5) with a 3.58 ERA in 20 games and 19 starts for Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League in 2018.
Wil Crowe, ranked 5th overall in the Nats’ system on MLB Pipeline’s list of the organization’s Top 30 prospects, talked this winter about feeling like he was close to a big opportunity in 2019 after he finished the 2018 campaign at Double-A Harrisburg.
“It just means that everything that I’ve been working for and that I am working for is kind of falling where I wanted to,” Crowe said at Nationals’ Winterfest in December.
“Invited here, and I had a good year last year, so it just means that what I’m working towards and working for ... I’m on the way there.”
In 16 appearances (15 starts) at High-A Potomac in the Nationals’ system this season, Crowe was (11-0) with a 2.69 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 30 walks (3.10 BB/9), and 78 Ks (8.07 K/9) in 87 IP before he was promoted to Double-A, where he struggled, going (0-5) in five starts and 26 1⁄3 IP with a 6.15 ERA, 6.10 FIP, 16 walks (5.47 BB/9), and 15 Ks (5.13 K/9).
Pitchers and catchers report to big league camp tomorrow, with position players set to get to West Palm Beach on February 18th before the first full-squad workouts on the 19th.