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Washington Nationals announce latest roster cuts as Opening Day approaches...

The Nationals announced the latest round of rosters cuts after today’s game against the Cardinals...

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at New York Mets Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Following the completion of today’s game, a 4-4 tie with St. Louis, Washington’s Nationals announced the latest round of roster cuts.

The Nationals optioned starter Joe Ross to the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, and sent catcher Spencer Kieboom and starter Erick Fedde to Double-A Harrisburg, keeping the backstop and starter close by, while sending Ross, who’s heading into his first full season back from Tommy John, out West to the organization’s new minor league affiliate.

Ross, 25, posted a 2.39 ERA in 26 1⁄3 innings pitched in the minors last season, as he worked his way back from surgery, and he went (0-2) in three starts in the Nationals’ rotation after a September call-up, with a 5.06 ERA, 5.85 FIP, four walks, and seven Ks in 16 innings.

In six appearances (and just one start) this Spring, the right-hander gave up 12 hits and four runs, three earned, walking three and striking out 10 in 10 23 IP.

Kieboom, 28, spent the majority of his 2018 campaign in D.C., serving in a backup role for the Nationals. He put up a .232/.322/.320 line in 52 games and 143 plate appearances, over which he hit five doubles and two home runs, and was worth 0.2 fWAR, while posting a .991 fielding percentage and a 42% caught stealing percentage.

The catcher was 8 for 24 (.333/.433/.708) with three doubles and two home runs in 17 games this Spring.

Fedde, who hoped to claim the fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation coming into the season, was boxed out when the Nats signed Aníbal Sánchez and brought back Jeremy Hellickson.

The 2014 1st Round pick gave up 22 hits and 16 runs, 11 earned, over 12 13 IP in Grapefruit League action, with opposing hitters putting up a .393 AVG against him.

The Nationals also announced that they’d reassigned Spencer’s brother Carter Kieboom, Henderson Alvarez III, Aaron Barrett, Scott Copeland and Vidal Nuño III to Minor League camp this afternoon. No surprises there either, though Nuño was an option for the relief corps before the Nats signed veteran left-hander Tony Sipp earlier this month.

It is interesting to see the Nationals send Fedde and Kieboom to Double-A, which is likely a move made to keep them closer to Washington, D.C. now that the Nats’ Triple-A affiliate is out in California instead of upstate New York.