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Marrero, Kimball, Brown optioned

Mar 17, 2011, 5:29 PM EDT

The Nationals optioned three players out of big-league camp today, sending first baseman Chris Marrero, right-hander Cole Kimball and outfielder Corey Brown to Class AAA Syracuse. They also re-assigned catcher Derek Norris to Class AA Harrisburg.

None of the four was likely to make the Opening Day roster, but Marrero and Kimball each impressed team officials this spring and positioned themselves to earn a promotion sometime this season.

Marrero, one of the Nationals' top prospects since he was selected in the first round of the 2006 draft, hit .381 with two doubles and three RBI in 12 Grapefruit League games. More importantly, he showed significant improvement in the field, the aspect of his game considered most suspect in the past.

Kimball, a hard-throwing reliever, wowed observers from his first bullpen session and then continued to impress in exhibition play. The 25-year-old allowed just one run in eight innings, striking out eight in the process.

Brown, acquired along with pitcher Henry Rodriguez from the Athletics in this winter's Josh Willingham trade, never got much of a chance toRead more »

  1. Doc - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    It obviously takes time, but with these options the Nats are starting to show some depth of their farm system. What a difference, even from last year.Now if we could just beat the Mets, Fish, and Braves, and leave the Phillies for next year!

  2. Stew Magnuson - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    I would consider a winning season record against the Marlins an major accomplishment for 2011. I'm tired of seeing those guys beat us so badly.

  3. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    I think Derrick Norris and Jhonotan Solano are now also assigned / optioned to the minors.This year will be a very interesting year with players in both Syracuse and Harrisburg pushing to rise up to the 40-man. I suspect we won't have to wait for ST 2012. If they start off badly (with Riggleman an unfortunate necessity) then we might see some whether some of the younger starters blossom. Tatsuko and Milone might be ready? Meanwhile, one would have to expect Brown, Harper, Norris, Lombardozzi, and Marerro (perhaps Tyler Moore) pushing hard to leap onto the 40-man.The key is starting pitching. Tatusko with his new found Strasburg-like velocity looks the most interesting. Milone looks like a better John Lannan in the making. Detwiler and Maya could end up going down to Syracuse as well where they will find many pushing them in competition for the coveted 40-man roster spots. Perhaps Storen too?

  4. Frediemac - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    38 PLayers ?I have 31 from the 40 man roster and 5 from the non roster listChad GaudinMatt StairsLaynce NixAlex CoraBrian Bixlerthat only makes 36 anybody know who I am missing?

  5. Frediemac - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Are they still counting Stephen Strasburg and Chein Ming-Wang?

  6. Feel Wood - Mar 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Strasburg and Wang are probably still counted because (a) they are on the 40-man roster and they are in camp, (b) they have not been optioned to the minors, and (c) they cannot be placed on the DL yet because the DL won't exist until 25-man rosters are set right before Opening Day.

  7. Theophilus - Mar 17, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Anonymous@2:41 has already been into the Black Bush and it isn't even the cocktail hour. He's got guys who haven't learned how to catch, can't field, can't hit, can't throw a fastball through a wet paper towel and can't shave on the ML roster before June.

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 17, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    You guys are correct: Strasburg and Wang still count as being in big-league camp until they're officially placed on the DL. That probably won't happen til the end of camp.

  9. Frediemac - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Thank you guys for the clarification

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