Nats Name AFL Roster

The Arizona Fall League rosters were released today, revealing which Nationals will be playing for this year’s assigned team, the Mesa Solar Sox.

None of the eight are Rule 5 eligibles for the first time, which has been the case a few times in the past few years, particularly with pitchers (e.g. Paul Demny in 2012, Cole Kimball in 2010). Four of the eight, however, have played here before, though for the two starting pitchers this is largely because surgeries and injuries have limited their playing time during the regular season. Perhaps the good news is that the organization feels confident enough to not shelve them yet again.

Without further ado, here’s Washington contingent (listed alphabetically):

  • RHP Robert Benincasa
  • OF Brian Goodwin
  • RHP Richie Mirowski
  • C Adrian Nieto
  • LHP Matt Purke
  • 1B/3B Matt Skole
  • LHP Sammy Solis
  • OF Steve Souza Jr.*

*Taxi squad, eligible to play twice per week

For folks that might be disappointed, let’s not forget that the Strasburg-Harper-Rendon sequence was the exception not the norm, which this seems to be. I’m a little curious as to the selection of Steve Souza Jr. if only because it was my understanding that he will be a free agent with this being his seventh season in the Nats organization. Perhaps this is a signal that he fully intends to re-sign? Or did his PED suspension delay his FA clock? Not exactly the kind of thing that’s easily researched, especially when so many offenders are quietly released.

Otherwise, I think we’re looking at the Nats fulfilling their obligations to help fill out the Solar Sox roster without providing any other teams a free look since the lion’s share of the aforementioned Rule 5 eligibles are position players or Dominican-born pitchers.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

6 thoughts on “Nats Name AFL Roster”

  1. I am happy to see Adrian Nieto, although surprised. I had the sense before this year that he had fallen from prospect status. Did he play his way back in, or is he filler?

    1. Offensively, he’s played himself back into a player to watch. Defensively, he has a huge hole in his game; namely his proclivity for not blocking pitches.

  2. Could it be the team wants to look at Souza in the fall league as a possible 40 man edition? Several people will be getting bumped from the 40 man roster this offseason.

    1. Why, then, only play twice a week? Could have sent Destin Hood if it were purely to fill out the roster.

      1. I’m a bit late to the party, but I agree. Why not put Nieto on the taxi squad. As a catcher, his playing time was already going to be very limited, and at best he’d see 3 games per week. He could have been the taxi player and taken little playing time hit, and Souza could have gotten a fair share of starts.

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