A little more than a month ago, I wrote a post about the upcoming Nationals 2013 Spring Training, which is de rigeur when it’s cold and/or February; the day after: a post about options (self-referencing is also obligatory).
For the most part, it’s been as expected… Anthony Rendon has had his moments, which have been heavily covered, but has been cool the for the past three games (0-for-7, 3K), which has been largely ignored. Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos have proven thus far to be healthy enough, which may have been the best shot for any of the minor-leaguers (notable or otherwise) to sneak onto the 25-man roster.
For us, the fans of the minors and what some casual fans call “the baby Nats,” there’s been a little upheaval. Christian Garcia (wrist) and Nathan Karns (leg) have both suffered injuries, which the more cynical among us would say is probably inevitable for two surgically repaired guys after breakthrough years in 2012. Matt Purke is (once again) going into
witness protection extended spring training to begin the season with a plan to join his teammates (probably in Hagerstown) in late May and an innings limit of about 100, which works out to be about 17 or 18 starts.
As you might imagine for the first guys to hit the plane from the I.L. if/when there’s an injury, Corey Brown, Carlos Rivero, and Chris Marrero have been getting quite a bit of playing time. Of the three, as noted this morning in the comments, only Rivero is out of options. This is, of course, why Rivero has been appearing in the outfield, though I get the sense it’s more to showcase his versatility as trade bait. Unfortunately, I also agree with the commenter’s contention that it’s been for naught thus far.
I’d still guess that at least two, if not all three will survive tomorrow’s expected cuts (a bit of a misnomer, since they’re usually reassigned, not released) because they’re older, more experienced players who are on the cusp of the majors and whose presence isn’t needed in the minors camp just yet (OK, so maybe I’m still holding out hope for a late-spring trade, too)
More likely to go: a catcher (e.g. Sandy Leon), a couple of pitchers (e.g. Patrick McCoy, Brandon Mann) and an infielder or two (unfortunately, Matt Skole is candidate as Ryan Zimmerman plays more). We’ll know more this roughly this time tomorrow.