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Mock, Martin, Meredith among cuts

Mar 11, 2011, 6:44 PM EDT

The Nationals sent 11 players to minor-league camp this afternoon but did not include Bryce Harper among the first significant round of cuts of the spring.

Right-handers Garrett Mock and Adam Carr were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse. Fellow right-handers J.D. Martin, Luis Atilano and Josh Wilkie; catchers Carlos Maldonado and Jhonatan Solano; first basemen Michael Aubrey and Kevin Barker; and outfielders Jeff Frazier and Jonathan Van Every were all re-assigned to minor-league camp.

The Nationals also released reliever Cla Meredith, who after signing a minor-league contract over the winter reported to camp with an injured elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.

Today's moves leave the Nationals' spring training roster at 46 with less than three weeks remaining before Opening Day.

Perhaps more notable than the names of the players sent down was the name of one particular player who survived this round of cuts: Harper. The 18-year-old outfielder has impressed so far during his firstRead more »

  1. JaneB - Mar 11, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Oh, please let Harper hang on till I see my first game on the 17th! Who else will be around then? I mean, of you all.

  2. joemktg - Mar 11, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Guessing that he'll be facing better pitching in the later stages of ST games, so this will be excellent experience for the young man.

  3. Tcostant - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    I see Harper starting at Potomac. Last year we all though Strasburg was going to start there and he ended up starting at Double A after a solid Spring Training. History could repeat itself, with Harper starting one level higher than everone thinks…

  4. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Here's the test … if he manages to win his share of at bats he could conceivably end up in Harrisburg. He looks better than Hood and Perez and they are off to Potomac? Its one thing to season him but as Riggleman likes to say "give him his due". He deserves better than a trip to Hagerstown given all the effort he has put forth.

  5. Harper_ROY_2012 - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Here are my thoughts on what this round of cuts tells us…. 1) Harper may start higher than Hagerstown2) With Carr and Kimball shining in the AFL, it looks like Rizzo believes Carr is not ready for prime time yet but a good sign for Kimball that he is agetting alonger look, would love to see him on the Opening Day roster.3) With VanEvery and Frazier being sent down that means that the remaining 1/3 of the probably Syracuse opening OF, Corey Brown is still getting a look, which means he could still steal the job away from Nyjer!

  6. HHover - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Any real evaluation of Harper's ST has to include his fielding as well as his batting. At the plate, yes, he's looked pretty good. In the field? Not so much. Everyone who want to rush him along seems to forget the second half of that.He's learning, and I'm sure he'll develop. But that's going to take a lot of innings in the OF, day and day. That's part of what he's "due" right now.

  7. Doc - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    As I have advocated since last fall, Harps deserves to start a AA. He can learn all he needs to know about the OF at AA, as well as develop needed hitting reps with off-speed pitches, and the daily grind of professional BB. Working with an OF coach on a regular basis would be of benefit. Some of Harper's hitting skills are more advanced than some of the Nats hitters currently scheduled to start the season on March 31st.

  8. Slidell - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    I suspect Harper will start at Hagerstown and be there at least through the 1st home stand (April 23). If he does WELL there, then on to Potomac. To predict anything after that would be piling conjecture upon conjecture. I think that the Nats will be making an extra effort to be nice, in support of the new Suns home-grown ownership.

  9. Knoxville Nat - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    There is no reason to rush Harper along to Harrisburg or Syracuse or even with the big club as some advocate. He's 18 years old, should be a senior in high school and has almost no experience as an outfielder. Hagerstown and/or Potomac will be a good experience for him in many ways that he will appreciate later in his career. Leave him in A ball for a few months and let him get his feet wet slowly.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    JaneB… Does that mean you are going to the Braves game at Disney? I have season tickets to Viera but will be sitting in the first row right behind home plate for the game at Disney on the 17th.

  11. JamesFan - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    I've seen him and he is not ready, especially in the outfield. He's also not ready to face top ML pitchers, and I do not think they should throw him in the deep end of the pool without some more lessons. That would be irresponsible.

  12. Theophilus - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Possibly, Mock will be playing for the new independent team in Ashburn by next summer and we can go watch him there. Unless he's dumber'n a bagful of hammers, I don't understand why he can't get his head around all of that talent alleged to be residing in his arm.

  13. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    "Good night, Bryce. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

  14. Theophilus - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    As to Harper, I suspect the reason for keeping him in the ML camp for the time being has to do w/ Riggleman and the ML coaches and the evaluators such as Davey Johnson to have more opportunity to observe him — along w/ everyone else on the ML roster. Sometime before they break camp, there'll be a late night meeting around a case of Bud Light in which they will develop a program for Harper, including a list of the things he needs to work on, in order of priority, and give it to Daubach, et al, to implement it.

  15. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    I wonder if the team pays for Meredith's TJ surgery. Hope so. Random thoughts…

  16. JD - Mar 11, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    One other thing to consider with Harper. The moment you bring him up to the majors you start the arbitration clock; so if you bring him up and he learns slowly and improves at the major league level you might be investing all this training and grooming a player for another team.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Guys, I will also be at the game in Disney on St Patty's. I'll be about 7 rows behind the Nats dugout with the wife little ones. I'll be wearing my green Nats hat. See you guys there. Luis-

  18. P. Cole - Mar 11, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Cla Meredith = Brian Lawrence

  19. Another_Sam - Mar 11, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    JaneB – The game on the 20th is my first for this year My experience has been that the regulars are playing then. Mark's reporting has got me thinking about two weeks next year – one early, and my usual third week in March.That third week in March usually works out well for me. But, alas, a while back I got to Sarasota just after Jim Palmer ended his comeback attempt. Oh, well.

  20. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    At the plate, yes, he's looked pretty good. In the field? Not so much.Far, far better than Destin Hood and Eury Perez do in the field? What's up with that? Well these are "top Segway" prospects from the JimBo "leather PANTS" era. Neither has the attitude toward baseball that Harper does? And they are your starting outfield in Potomac? If Harper went to Potomac hopefully the manages and coaches will point and say, "that's how you do it, now go get it or you're gone!"Meanwhile, Harper makes a very convincing argument for going to Harrisburg and facing close-to-major-league-pitching.

  21. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    "I wonder if the team pays for Meredith's TJ surgery."Since he already had the surgery while he was still under contract, probably they do. But they won't be paying for his followup and rehab now, I'll bet.

  22. estoppel.08 - Mar 12, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    Why Frazier? 429/500/857 including homer off CC Sabathia is not enough? Tough call.

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