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Washington Nationals’ first roster cuts of Spring Training 2021 - No big surprises...

Washington’s Nationals made the first round of roster cuts on Sunday morning, and manager Davey Martinez discussed some points of interest...

MLB: Washington Nationals-Workouts Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Before Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Houston Astros in Grapefruit League action in West Palm Beach, FL, the Washington Nationals announced the first round of roster cuts in 2021.

There were a couple of interesting/noteworthy decisions, which manager Davey Martinez addressed when he spoke with reporters before the announcement, but for the most part, the moves were what was expected from the first round.

So what’s next for the players listed above, since there’s no minor league camp in WPB yet under the COVID protocols? Not much apparently.

“The only thing that changes really is that they’ll start a little later than we do,” Martinez said in his pregame Zoom call on Sunday morning.

“But we’re able to keep our eyes on them, and you’ll see a lot of guys still playing in our games late.

“The pitchers will actually, the starters will get extended, they’ll start to get a little more innings in sim games for the time being.

“We’ll do a lot of different things. The good thing is as these guys are progressing and getting stretched out, we can get some hitters who need at bats, so that’s kind of nice.”

So not much will change, or as Martinez explained, it will just essentially split into two workout groups that will meet at different times in the same facility.

“As we go forward, guys that we deem are going to start, they’ll get stretched out and when they need to throw,” he added.

“We’ll have guys if they need at bats they can go down there and work on some different things and see live pitching, so all’s good. It is what it is.

“Typically we send guys out, they go to the minor league side and you cross paths but you don’t really see them. Right now, like I said, they’ll start a little later, but by the time the game starts, we’ll all be together, so we’ll have the guys that we need to play in the game ready to go.”

The first of two noteworthy things from today’s moves? Right-hander Todd Peterson, a 2019 7th Round pick out of LSU, who spent the 2019 season in the Gulf Coast and New York/Penn leagues, wasn’t among the cuts announced.

Peterson, 23, finished his first pro season with a 3.49 ERA, 11 walks, and 26 Ks in 10 games, five starts, and 38 23 IP, but he wasn’t part of the 60-Man player pool for 2020, and he did not make MLB Pipeline’s list of the Top 30 prospects in the organization for 2021, but he is still in camp after the first round of cuts, having pitched just a 13 of an inning in Grapefruit League action. So, you know, why is he still there?

“We want to just — he threw the ball well the other day,” Martinez said. “We wanted to see what he looks like again out of the bullpen. But here’s another young guy that we feel like he’s going to start, so we’ll have to stretch him out sooner or later, but we want to get him some more innings up here.

“You might see some of these other guys pitch for us in games, especially the relievers, but we just wanted to give him another opportunity to pitch up here.”

The other player Martinez talked about? Jake Noll, who is part of the 40-Man roster, was cut in the first round after going 0 for 8 with two walks and four Ks in eight games this spring.

His early cut was somewhat surprising, though he was a long shot to make the Opening Day roster in 2021.

Why the quick cut for the recently-turned 27-year-old infielder, who was up for seven games in the majors last season, going 6 for 17 (.353/.353/.412) with a double and four strikeouts in those games after debuting in the majors in 2019?

“For Jake it’s just continue to — you know, we look at him right now as a guy that can play multiple positions, a super-[utility] guy,” Martinez said.

“So continue to get better. I want him to really hone in on his defense at third base. You saw him play some outfield, and he moved pretty good out in left field, and also played some first base, so he got off to a slow start, but Jake, he’s one of those guys when he starts swinging the bat and things start clicking, he can really put together a pretty good month, or two months. And I know that his swing will come.”

Martinez also offered an interesting comp for Noll when asked about how where he wants the infielder/outfielder to concentrate his efforts defensively going forward.

“I think he’s a guy that can move around a bunch,” Martinez said.

“I mean, I look at him, and we talk about this, even though Ben Zobrist was a switch hitter, but he’s kind of that guy. Ben played second base, outfield — I think Jake can do the same thing.”