Feb 16, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals announced this morning they designated right-hander Luis Atilano for assignment, the long-awaited move that reduces their roster to the maximum 40 one day before pitchers and catchers hold their first formal workout.
Atilano was a surprise contributor to the Nationals’ rotation early last season, summoned from the minors after a spate of injuries. He went 5-1 over his first eight career starts, then lost six of his next seven decisions to wind up 6-7 with a 5.15 ERA.
The Puerto Rico native went on the disabled list in July with bone chips in his throwing elbow and missed the rest of the season after having surgery to remove them.
Meanwhile, three pitchers and catchers have yet to report to spring training due to visa issues: Dominican right-hander Elvin Ramirez (a Rule 5 draftee) and Venezuelan right-hander Henry Rodriguez (acquired from the A’s in the Josh Willingham trade) and catcher Carlos Maldonado (invited to camp as a non-roster player).
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