Mar 172011
 

Four more Nationals were sent packing as Corey Brown, Cole Kimball, Chris Marrero, and Derek Norris were reassigned to minor-league camp today.

Unlike years past, none of these cuts were particularly surprising. Brown, even if he hadn’t been hurt, was unlikely to break camp with the big boys without the benefit of a trade or an injury. Syracuse is his most likely destination unless either the injury lingers or Rizzo opts for a more veteran OF in Syracuse and sends Brown to Harrisburg to play every day.

Kimball received a lot of favorable coverage from the beat writers, but the lack of AAA experience (i.e. none), command issues, and similar relievers without options (e.g. Henry Rodriguez) make this a smart move. Now the focus will be on whether he will supplant Adam Carr (possible) as the Chiefs’ closer or if the powers that be will decide to use both in both roles and let the production (or Knorr) dictate the usage.

Marrero is arguably the most pleasant spring surprise, and perhaps not even on offense. That’s a lot to say for someone that put up a .381/.435/.476 line, but it says more about how much he appears to have improved on defense. He’ll be the everyday first baseman at Syracuse.

Last but not least, Derek Norris was reassigned to Harrisburg, a move that whittles the number of players in the major-league camp to 38. Norris appeared in 11 games and batted .200 but also drew four walks for an impressive OBP of .368 and acquitted himself defensively. Norris could very well follow the development path that Espinosa had in 2010 and be in a position next Spring Training to be battling for a spot on the 25-man roster.

  6 Responses to “Nats Announce Next Set of Roster Cuts”

  1. Excited for both Norris and Marrero. If Derek gets good instruction behind the plate as he keeps moving up, things should work out great. To me it’s never been about the plate production with the bat, but the glove work.

  2. It’s a sea-change from prior years, when the Nationals were hard-pressed to find AA level talent, let alone another 24 for the AAA roster. If guys like Norris & Marrero can continue to rake in the minors, & sharpen their defense a bit more, all the better. Carr & Kimball could be a two-headed monster in the bullpen for Syracuse.

  3. I apologize for not being stats savvy, but is anyone concerned with Derek Norris’ low batting average? I understand he gets on base, but if they challenge him enough and he can’t hit it, then it will all be for not.

    • Not in less than 20 plate appearances in Spring Training. He didn’t face MLB-calibre pitchers every time, but let’s assume he did. What would that be at the various levels of the Nats minors?

      .240 in the IL
      .267 in the EL
      .299 in the CrL
      .359 in the SAL

      (Source: http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mlecalc.html)

      So I guess the answer is if Norris is only hitting .260 or so by mid-May, then you oughta worry.

  4. Where is Stephen Strausberg starting off this year at?

    • Strasburg will likely follow the same path as Zimmermann last summer, which means he’ll likely be pitching in Hagerstown, Potomac and Harrisburg in July and August.

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