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Washington Nationals vs Houston Astros: Grapefruit League GameThread

Washington and Houston meet in their shared spring home at 1:05 PM ET as Spring Training winds down for both the Nationals and Astros. FOLLOW: Radio only via nationals dot com.

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

Though they did not end up playing last night, the Washington Nationals had a lot going on, with a number of roster moves, headlined by Cade Cavalli and Tyler Clippard, both of whom are expected to figure in the team’s plans this season, being optioned to Triple-A Rochester, and Andrew Stevenson clearing waivers and getting assigned outright to the club’s top minor league affiliate, leaving him with a decision to make before he either tries to work his way back up in D.C. or looks for an opportunity elsewhere.

“It was very tough,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said of the decision-making which led the club to put Stevenson, who’s come off the bench and excelled as a pinch hitter in the past few seasons, through waivers and outright him to Triple-A.

“I love Andrew. He’s been around here for a long time. He’s done some really good things.

“Things changed because of the DH and his role. If he gets another opportunity to play in the big leagues, great.

“If he doesn’t, I hope that he understands we’d love to have him back.”

Stevenson apparently understood. Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty reported earlier this morning the outfielder accepted the assignment and will remain with the organization:

Cavalli, 23, will start the 2022 season where he ended up in ‘21, having worked his way up to Triple-A from High-A in his first competitive professional season, after pitching at the club’s alternate training site in 2020’s COVID campaign. He impressed this spring, before blowing up in his last appearance, and Martinez told reporters on Saturday afternoon, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, the team’s top pick from 2020’s draft is close to being big league-ready.

“As we all know, he’s going to be a huge part of our future,” Martinez explained. “And we want to start him down there, get him going and let him build up innings. He hasn’t really pitched that much the last few years. We’re going to keep a close eye on him, for sure, but he showed us some really good things this spring. And I told him, ‘The door’s going to be wide open for you in the future.’”

Meanwhile, there are still Grapefruit League games to be played, starting with today’s in West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Josiah Gray will start if it’s okay weather-wise to go today after last night’s game was washed out by rain.

HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME WITH THE ASTROS: