Before they played another intrasquad game in Nationals Park last night, Washington’s 2019 World Series champs made two roster moves, adding infielder Yasel Antuna to their 60-Man Player Pool and releasing veteran reliever Fernando Abad.
“Abad, he had an out the 18th,” Davey Martinez explained when he spoke with reporters on a Zoom call after the game.
“So we thought, we were comfortable with the guys we’ve got here. With Antuna, he’s just one of our young kids that we really like and he can play everywhere in the infield, mostly shortstop.”
Antuna, 20, was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $3.9M as a 16-year-old back in 2016, and in four years in the organization, the infielder has put up a .247/.325/.353 line between the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic Leagues.
He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, but returned to action last season, though, “... leg injuries limited him to only three games,” as MLB’s Pipeline scouts wrote in ranking him 12th overall in the system this year.
“We feel like we didn’t want to stop his development,” Martinez said of the decision to add the infielder to the 60-Man Player Pool, “so we’d bring him here as well, and let him go to Fredericksburg, [VA], and get ready to play in case we need a shortstop, second baseman, even a third baseman.”
The moves left the Nationals with 57 players (out of a possible 60) in their Player Pool, with two players (Wander Suero and Roenis Elías) currently on the Injured List.
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Us: my what big arms you have— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 17, 2020
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Cleared or Not; Games in D.C. in 2020:
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“Doubt arose because of the District’s strict self-quarantine rules, and the Nationals had actively explored alternate sites in Fredericksburg, Va., and, as a last resort, their spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.”
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“'My theories about HFA is that it’s not about fans, but rather about familiarity with environment and travel,' says Matt Swartz, an economist who has studied home field advantage for Baseball Prospectus and now consults for the Washington Nationals."
NL EAST UPDATES:
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July 17, 2020
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