Yesterday, the Washington Nationals officially announced the 2016 Opening Day rosters for the full-season affiliates. Here’s how it breaks down by the Watchlist:
Pitchers – A.J. Cole, Matt Grace, Sammy Solis, Austin Voth
Hitters – Brian Goodwin, Pedro Severino, Matt Skole, Trea Turner
Pitchers – Dakota Bacus, Abel De Los Santos, Lucas Giolito, Bryan Harper, Nick Lee, Reynaldo Lopez, Tyler Mapes, John Simms, Austen Williams
Hitters – Isaac Ballou, Rafael Bautista, Christopher Bostick, Wilmer Difo, Spencer Kieboom
Pitchers – Erick Fedde, Koda Glover, Phillips Valdez
Hitters – Osvaldo Abreu, Alec Keller, Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, Bryan Mejia, Narciso Mesa, Andrew Stevenson, Raudy Read, Drew Ward
Pitchers – Connor Bach, Joan Baez, Matt Crownover, Matt DeRosier, Taylor Guilbeau, Taylor Hearn, Andrew Lee, Tommy Peterson, Mariano Rivera III, Jefry Rodriguez
Hitters – Telmito Agustin, Edwin Lora, Kelvin Gutierrez, Jakson Reetz, Victor Robles, Max Schrock, Jorge Tillero, Rhett Wiseman
M.I.A. (excluding DSL and GCL players) – David Kerian, Oliver Ortiz, Darryl Florentino, Max Valerio, Grant Borne
As of virtual press time, there were no additional releases reported by MiLB.com. However, this is the time of the year when some players go Judge Crater, with no official word of an XST assignment, placement on the DL, or a retirement.
• No real surprises on Syracuse, as per usual. The days of a AAA guy necessarily being better than a AA guy are long gone.
• Giolito returning to AA is not anything to fret about (unless you’re a Chiefs fan). He only made eight starts there last summer and a few more in April won’t kill his development.
• Williams getting the bump is a mild surprise, but that’s just my opinion, which, along with $2 gets you a cup of coffee
• As is usually the case, Potomac is interesting mix of might-be’s, could-have-been’s, and I-thought-that-guy-retired’s. Most folks will be focused on Fedde, Glover, and Stevenson.
• Bravo to the decision to not socially promote Drew Ward. Obviously, it’s not a good sign to repeat a level, but he’ll still be about a year an half younger than the league average, so there is no need to rush [insert Anthony Rendon remark here].
• Conversely, it is a head scratcher to see Reetz in Hagerstown after struggling in the NYPL in 2015.
• Hagerstown’s roster appears to be loaded but it reminds me of the story of a basketball coach telling his team on the first day of practice: “I added up everybody’s scoring averages from last year and it’s impressive. But gentlemen, we are not going to score 200 points per game.”
As always, feel free to discuss in the comments. Opening Night is tomorrow.