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Michaels, Blanco, Severino cut

Mar 29, 2012, 3:05 PM EST

US Presswire photo
Outfielder Jason Michaels hit .220 with one homer in 20 games this spring.

VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals brought a bit more clarity to the makeup of their Opening Day roster this morning when they re-assigned outfielder Jason Michaels and infielder Andres Blanco to minor-league camp and optioned left-hander Atahualpa Severino to Class AAA Syracuse.

Michaels and Blanco had been competing for spots on the Opening Day bench. Their departure all but guarantees jobs for infielder Steve Lombardozzi and outfielder Brett Carroll, and sets up a battle between veterans Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy for the last spot on the roster.

Blanco was the only other infielder competing with Lombardozzi for a backup role, and the 27-year-old journeyman didn't make much of a case for himself, collecting just two hits in 32 at-bats this spring.

Davey Johnson wouldn't go so far this morning to say Lombardozzi has made the club, but the manager has envisioned the rookie getting as many as 300 at-bats by filling in at second base, shortstop, third baseRead more »

  1. Section 222 - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    It wouldn't surprise me if Durbin gets that extra bullpen spot in order to keep him in the organization. He's had alot of work this spring, and has pitched pretty well, and Mattheus has an option. He will probably get a major league offer if we don't keep him and I seriously doubt he'd choose to go to the minors if he doesn't have to. Notwithstanding DJ's hope, the same goes for Michaels. I really like the idea of Carroll as an emergency catcher, allowing Flores to pinch hit on a regular basis. Remember, the emergency catcher almost never actually plays. When he does, it would be for just a few innings in one game. We can take that risk in order to not have Flores languish on the bench for 3 out of 4 days.Nady is probably a better choice than Tracy for that last bench spot. It's pretty said that that's what our choice is though. I was hoping that Ankiel and Bernadina would be fighting for that last spot, rather than both being assured of going north.

  2. NatsLady - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Under the new CBA, doesn't Michaels get 100K if the Nats want him to go to Syracuse and he doesn't opt-out?

  3. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    So glad to see Lombo making the club (or very likely to be making it).

  4. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Hey, Mark (sorta) said The Best 25 Go North. Bottoms up, everybody! :-)Johnson said this morning that Morse (who has been cleared to throw and hit off a tee) will come north with the rest of the team at the end of camp and will continue his rehab with the big-league club.

  5. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    This is from the new guy at MASN:Dan Kolko‏@DanKolkoReplyDavey says Storen and Morse will head north with #Nats at the end of camp. He's unsure about CM Wang. Likes having his "kids" around him

  6. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Seems to be on Mark's Tweeter as well, from about an hour ago:Mark Zuckerman ‏ @MarkZuckerman Storen and Morse will go north with #Nats next week before team decides where they rehab.

  7. NatsNut - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM


  8. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    The Arm was mentioned in this post.

  9. Theophilus - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I recall saying several weeks ago, long before he was signed, I thought Nady was a good candidate to be on the Opening Day roster, because Johnson really hadn't acquired a good RH bat. So I'm glad he's available. Tracy would be a useful PH but Nady's overall utility seals the deal. Once (if/when) Morse is fully restored to health and in good form — I can see it taking him close to a month before he gets his hitting stroke in a groove — Nady becomes second/third on the depth chart at 1B, and a good candidate in LF should the Nats decide to move LaRoche mid-season and Harper comes up.TJ surgery may not be as dicey for hitters as for pitchers but the basic rehabilitative process is the same and his less than stellar 2010-11 seasons should not be held against him.The potential for something close to his 2008 season is tantalizing.

  10. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    1A.. I just thought the "Likes to have his kids around" comment was funny.

  11. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Ah, got it. 😉

  12. Les in NC - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I hope the "X" man gets the final spot on the roster. That's just me, though. Either way, sounds like the best 25 (who are in the best shape of their lives) are going North!!GYFNG!!

  13. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Evidently Davey is a quote machine. :-)

  14. Steve M. - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Interesting, Brett Carroll as a 3rd catcher.

  15. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Keeping both Ankiel and. Bernadina makes abundant sense given both are LH bats. LaRoche is a notorious slow starter. He's a huge risk given the injuries thus Nady. Morse is still a left fielder. Opportunity knocks for Harper, Brown, and even Moore and Marerro if these plus 30 guys slump at the outset.

  16. A DC Wonk - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    natsfan1a said… Evidently Davey is a quote machine. :-)Indeed. Presuming nobody's mentioned this one: this morning on the radio I heard Davey saying that they got the sonogram back on Michael Morse . . . and that he's not pregnant.

  17. Feel Wood - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Steve M. said… Interesting, Brett Carroll as a 3rd catcher.Not a third catcher. An emergency catcher. There is a difference. A third catcher would be expected to actually catch some innings over the course of a season to keep him sharp. An emergency catcher will only catch if the first two catchers are out of the game, i.e. the #2 catcher gets burned as a PH and then the #1 catcher gets hurt. If one of the first two catchers is hurt before the game starts, they'll bring up someone from the minors rather than use the emergency catcher.The Nats have presumably had someone designated as emergency catcher every year they've been in town, whether they announced it or not. But has an emergency catcher ever been used in all that time? I can't recall an instance where that happened.

  18. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Maybe Robert Fick, in the LeCroy/Robinson crying game?

  19. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Maybe Robert Fick, in the LeCroy/Robinson crying game?

  20. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Oops, excuse me. :-)

  21. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Anyhoo, sec 222 beat me to it in a newer thread.





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