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Washington Nationals’ roster moves bring 25-Man roster into focus ahead of Opening Day...

Washington’s Nationals optioned Adrian Sanchez and Austen Williams to Triple-A Fresno this morning, so that means the 25-Man roster is pretty much set.

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves
This is a picture of Jake Noll. Get to know him.
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Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo and Nats’ manager Davey Martinez had plans to talk today before making final decisions on the roster, which were expected to be announced tomorrow, but early this morning the team made two last cuts that brought the 25-man roster into focus.

Relever Austen Williams and infielder Adrián Sanchez were both optioned out to Triple-A Fresno, as announced by the Nationals’ PR Twitter account, so with Michael A. Taylor and Howie Kendrick expected to start the season on the Injured List, along with reliever Koda Glover, it appears that Wander Suero will claim the final bullpen spot and Wilmer Difo and Jake Noll (the surprise of the Spring) will make the 25-Man roster on the bench.

Noll will have to be added to the 40-Man roster beforehand. Primarily a second baseman in the minors, the infielder has also played third and first base.

The loss of catcher Pedro Severino on outright waivers to the Baltimore Orioles opened up a spot on the Nationals’ 40-Man, so barring a late Spring signing, it appears Noll could take that open spot when/if he’s added.

Noll, 25, came into camp as a long shot to make the roster, but impressed the Nats, going 16 for 51 (.314/.386/.510) with four doubles, two homers, five walks, and 10 Ks in 27 games played in Grapefruit League action.

In 132 games and 549 plate appearances between High-A Potomac and AA Harrisburg last season, the 2016 7th Round pick out of Florida Gulf Coast University put up a .291/.341/.412 line with 20 doubles, 11 HRs, 33 walks, and 90 Ks.

Suero, 27, had a 3.59 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 15 walks (2.83 BB/9), 47 Ks (8.87 K/9), and .238/.312/.408 line against over 40 games and 47 2⁄3 innings pitched in the majors last season, debuting in the Nationals’ bullpen after nine seasons in the organization.

He gave up seven hits, two walks, and four runs (two earned) in 6 13 IP this Spring, striking out six and putting up a .269 BAA in Grapefruit League action.

Williams, 26, threw 7 23 scoreless this Spring, walking no one and giving up just two hits with seven Ks and a .083 BAA.

The right-hander, a 2014 6th Round pick who switched to relief work last season, debuted in the majors in 2018 as well, after posting a a 1.39 ERA, a 1.41 FIP, 11 walks (2.15 BB/9), and 69 Ks (12.02 K/9) in 24 games and 51 2⁄3 innings pitched at Double-A Harrisburg and a 0.55 ERA and 1.62 FIP, four walks (2.20 BB/9) and 20 Ks (11.02 K/9) in 16 13 IP at Triple-A Syracuse.

Sanchez, 28, has played 62 games in the majors over the last two seasons after debuting in 2017.

He’s posted a 271/.288/.357 line in 134 big league plate appearances so far, and was 10 for 47 (.213/.283/.255) this Spring.

An official announcement on the 25-Man roster should come soon either tomorrow or on Thursday if they stick with the rollout from previous years, with the season opener at 1:05 PM EDT on Thursday. Today’s moves pretty much set things if there aren’t any surprises in the next 48 hours.

Rotation: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Aníbal Sánchez, Jeremy Hellickson (who’s expected to start the season in the pen until a 5th starter is needed)

Bullpen: Sean Doolittle (CL); Trevor Rosenthal, Kyle Barraclough, Tony Sipp, Matt Grace, Justin Miller, Wander Suero

Position Players: Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Brian Dozier, Ryan Zimmerman, Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, Matt Adams, Wilmer Difo, Jake Noll, Andrew Stevenson.

Injured List: Howie Kendrick, Michael A. Taylor, Koda Glover