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Who takes roster spots of DL candidates?

Mar 29, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Ryan Mattheus is first in line to make the bullpen if Drew Storen lands on the DL.

VIERA, Fla. — We've reached the point of the spring where everyone can finally see the finish line ahead. Which also means everyone can see those final rounds of roster cuts about to be handed down.

As of this morning, there are 38 players in big-league camp (that's counting Xavier Nady, who it appears has joined the mix). That means 13 players must be cut or placed on the disabled list before Opening Day.

We already know three players are guaranteed to start the year on the DL: Chris Marrero (hamstring), Cole Kimball (shoulder) and Chien-Ming Wang (hamstring). It's also probably safe to assume Drew Storen (elbow) and Michael Morse (lat) will wind up there, if only for a brief stint.

So that leaves 33 healthy players for 25 available spots on the Opening Day roster. Let's run through those remaining candidates, position-by-position…

Wilson Ramos
Jesus Flores

Read more »

  1. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Johnny Gomes just went yard to put the A's up 4 – 1 going into the 9th inning.

  2. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    I'm going guess this. Morse will not go on the DL and will be playing opening day in Wrigley…

  3. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Good for Gomes! And how nice is it to be going into the last week of spring traiing with only being worried about 1 bench/1 bullpen. I feel better about the bullpen options, obviously, but I figure whoever the guy is that gets the last bench spot won't be here that long anyway (ie Morse coming off the DL and then Harper coming up)

  4. sjm308 - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    I guess my idea of 3 catchers will not fly, but Flores would be a great pinch hitter (as would Ramos on the days Flores is catching). I just hate how managers, not just Davey, are put in that position. You get into a 10 or 11 inning game and the bench is deleted except for the 2nd catcher. I realize Carroll has said he can catch but would Davey really risk that? In the bullpen, my vote goes for Mattheus but this is truly a win-win as all 3 have been excellent. I hope Durbin reconsiders if he is not the one and stays with this team. Its a tough choice though if a big league team offers him a deal, and I don't see him turning that down.Mark: If Durbin gets sent down, does he have a couple days to get the word to other teams or does he have to make a decision immediately?Go Nats!!

  5. sjm308 - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Just hoped over to NJ and it looks like I was scooped by Kilgore. (ha,ha) I still think an actual 3rd catcher might be a better strategy but I do realize that Carroll can play other positions and its rare that he would actually get behind the plate. I am impressed that he would actually volunteer for this after so many years, but if you think about his arm, it does make some sense.

  6. DWS - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    SI's Tom Verducci has Nats as NL sleeper pick.

  7. Gonat - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    sjm308, I remember the 3 catcher thing was discussed a month or so ago as many feel the bench catch du jour will be the best right handed bat off the bench and should probably be used. Werth and Harper are your emergency 3rd catchers.

  8. sm13 - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Stammen has earned the final bullpen slot. He has the best numbers and has been consistent throughout the Spring.

  9. SCNatsFan - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    sm13 I don't disagree but we need a true starter at AAA in case we need one and Stammen figures to be that man. I'm sure the organization sees the merit in leaving a starter as a starter if he's the only one we have.

  10. SCNatsFan - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    And Cutter Dykstra is dating Jamie-Lynn Sigler? And I thought she couldn't get worse then Turtle.

  11. sm13 - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    SCNatafan: Your logic makes sense, but I've noticed that Davey haa been using Craig for only am inning at a time lately. That makes me think that the organization is seeing Craig's future in the pen.

  12. Gonat - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    SCNatsFan, post of the day @ 8:35

  13. Gonat - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Do we add Corey Brown back in if Ankiel is injured? Corey is starting against the Tigers tonight

  14. Drew - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    I'd like to see Stammen make the club, but Mattheus showed promise last year. Durbin also has had a nice spring. It's nice to see so many good options out of the pen.I'm coming late to this note from yesterday, so my apologies if someone already plowed this ground. Someone tweaked the Ian "haters" for disappearing when he had a terrific day, going 4-for-4.Couple of points. As stated many times, Ian's detractors (and I'm one) do not hate him. He seems like a nice fellow who works hard, has flashes of talent and shows signs of leadership.Here's the whole point about his offense: If he doesn't get base hits, he doesn't get on base. That's why he shouldn't be the leadoff hitter. This spring he has 63 at bats and two walks.Of course I'm glad that he got four hits and that he boosted his spring on base percentage to .323. Good for him. It's great for the team.My concern is that before he got those four hits his on base percentage this spring was .278 in 59 at bats.Time will tell whether Ian has turned the corner, or whether he'll revert to his career norm. I'm going to wait until June before I weigh in on Ian again.

  15. SCNatsFan - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I think some of the blame of Ian falls on some thinking he will grow into Jeter… unrealistic. If he grows into a solid mLB SS by cutting down on his errors and being more selective at the plate then that's a pretty solid guy to have on your roster.Thanks Gonat, been awhile since I had POD

  16. NatsLady - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Watched Henry's 9th inning from yesterday. Mets announcers were awestruck! It was funny.

  17. lls45 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    I agree with sm13; Stammen has the best potential to be a long reliver. I don't particularly under their commitment to Gorzelanny, who has pitched horribly. Gorzelanny should be released and then we can have both a righty and a lefty long man in Stammen and Detwiler.

  18. Mark'd - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Didn't this topic get discussed yesterday? Only difference is Nady was added.

  19. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Drew.. agree about Ian getting some walks (I think we all had a chuckle when Mark made the comments in the game thread when Ian actually got a walk). It will be interesting to watch the first month or so to see how he does (and how much time DJ give him to figure it out)

  20. Avar - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I'm a consistent Desmond critic. And it's based 100% on performance. 1,300 PAs in the bigs with a .298 OBP. What's to like? As for unrealistic expectations. Last year, he was one of the 5-10 worst full-time offensive players in the league. I could live with 25th percentile if his glove was strong. OBP of say .325 with a little power and some stolen bases. And forgive me if I don't think a 4-4 day in spring training erases three years of lousy regular season performance.He's a class act and I'm rooting for him. But, facts are stubborn things, folks. And his three years of lousy offensive performance is a fact.

  21. Todd Boss - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Stammen has had plenty of opportunities to prove himself as a starter and wasn't effective. So logic says that his future in the org is as a reliever. But, this team is really, really short on starter depth, so Stammen should go toil in AAA as a 7th starter waiting in the wings for an injury. Perhaps next year we'll have one more year's worth of promotions for high end starter candidates and Stammen can go back to the long-man/swing man role that he seems pretty good at.

  22. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Yah, its the same but Mark creatively added Chad Durbin, Ryan Perry, Atahualpa Severino, Maldanado, Blanco and Nady.

  23. Avar - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    In the interest of accuracy, Desmond was not one of the 5-10 worst. I should have said 10-15 worst. My mistake.

  24. sm13 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Lls45 is right on target.

  25. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    I recognized only one name of those three (Dykstra), and I'm okay with that. :-)SCNatsFan said… And Cutter Dykstra is dating Jamie-Lynn Sigler? And I thought she couldn't get worse then Turtle. March 29, 2012 8:35 AM

  26. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    SCNatsFan said… "I think some of the blame of Ian falls on some thinking he will grow into Jeter"Where did you hear that? I've never seen nor heard Desmond and Jeter in the same sentence.

  27. NatStat - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    This was a good ST for most of our relief P's. Stammen is my favorite, and I think that Perry is the sleeper. I expect to see him do well in 'Cuse.

  28. Theophilus - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Criticizing Desmond for not walking enough the day after he gets four hits makes no sense. On one of the MLB Network programs last night, talking about whether Ichiro — a notorious non-walker — belongs in the HOF, one of the commentators were emphatic: a walk is NOT as good as a hit. E.g., Desmond has 27 doubles in each of two not especially glorious years, which can drive in a lot of runs if the 7-8 hitters get on base. If Desmond hits .270 and gets 35 walks (again), then his OB percentage is around .325 — and then who's complaining?

  29. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I recognized only one name of those three (Dykstra), and I'm okay with that. :-)Better up!That was than, this is new.

  30. Ian D - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    At least I'm not Ray Oyler or Tommy Dean.

  31. Avar - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Theo is right; a walk is not as good as a hit. Even a single is slightly better than a walk. This is a place where advanced stats agrees w/ common sense. However, what in the world does one day of spring training have to do with whether or not we can criticize Desmond?? He has three big league seasons under his belt, that's a significant track record that is fair game for criticism.

  32. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I didn't understand that comment, and I'm okay with that. :-)Anonymous said… I recognized only one name of those three (Dykstra), and I'm okay with that. :-) Better up! That was than, this is new. March 29, 2012 9:32 AM

  33. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Yeah, Theo, those 4 hits in a ST game are decisive. Ian's our man! OK, maybe not. A hit is better than a walk, but a K might be the worst out generally, if we're comparing things here. 27 Doubles is nice, but in 640 PAs with 5 times as many K's and a handful of HR? Not sure 4-5 doubles per month is enough when that is pretty much all you're getting out of the guy. And come on, comparing Desmond to Ichiro is beyond comical.Ian Desmond should go to Cuse. Great tools, the wheels in particular, but bad bat (really bad pitch recognition) and eratic glove should get him to the minors to figure out his game. It won't happen, but it should. I hope Desmond finds his groove and proves me wrong, but the odds of that happening are very long, notwithstanding a nice 4 hit game in Florida.

  34. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Ha!! — Ichiro hits .325 for his career, he's a notorious amazing HITTER, not a non-walker. The Nats seem determined to make sure Ian has a chance to kill the club. They know he's not likely going to do well at leadoff but off to slaughter they march with the guy Sharpied-in the lineup cards batting first through June in any event.Boggles the mind. What do they see in this guy that his stats don't show?

  35. markfd - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I think Nady and Carroll will get the bench slots and Durbin will get the final bullpen slot.

  36. NatsLady - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Do we have two games today (split-squad)?

  37. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    I expect Ian Desmond to be hitting (BA to be) .400 up to the All Star game, and then fall off to about .360 for the season. Take that optimism…

  38. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    NL, yes, it's supposed to be 1:05 vs. the Braves and 6:05 at the Tigers. Don't know about MLB.TV but I believe GameDay audio will have the Braves radio feed.

  39. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Ian has better odds of hitting the Mega Millions a couple of times before the All Star game than he does to hit .400. Take that realism . . .

  40. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Tomorrow evening we get MASN for the 6:05 game vs. the Marlins. Yay! I *think* there's also MLB.TV for that one, and a delayed MLB Network broadcast.

  41. Steve M. - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Nady in RF in the 1st game

  42. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Anonymous said… an has better odds of hitting the Mega Millions a couple of times before the All Star game than he does to hit .400. Take that realism . . . LOL

  43. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Looks like there is MLB.TV for tonight's Detroit game and tomorrow's Marlins game as well.

  44. Steve M. - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Who has any intel on Xavier Nady? Is there any indication that he can turn his career around or is he just another Matt Stairs where you hope something happens offensively. I don't think he is a + defensively. Gonat's analysis is interesting. He has been on a 4 year slide although 4 years ago he put up All Star type of numbers when he was with Pittsburgh than he was traded to NYY.What I noticed in that season was that he was doing real well in Pittsburgh and when he went to NYY his numbers dropped significantly.

  45. Mark'd - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    SteveM, I don't know Nady's back story but Chad Tracy was once a superstar in the making in Arizona.I think its a "what have you done for me lately" and the last bench spot should probably go to Corey Brown. Guy made a WebGem in the 9th inning yesterday and has put up the best numbers of the group and you option him back when Morse comes back.The rest of these Veterans have to be waived and clear waivers and accept their AAA assignment.

  46. Steve M. - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Michaels got reassigned so he can be taken out of the equation. I don't think anyone was considering Blanco or Severino as they were sent to AAA.

  47. SonnyG10 - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Hoora!!! Flash Alert!! My "Take Back the Park" tickets just arrived in the plain envelop from Texarkana, TX. I was beginning to think they forgot about me. Now back to your regular programming!

  48. sm13 - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Nady has been snakebitten by injuries his whole career. When he's healthy, he's been good to very good. I like him as a "hairy" bat off the bench for Davey and an adequate defensive fill in.

  49. Theophilus - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    To the Doppelgaenger Anons: I didn't compare Desmond to Suzuki — I said their walk rates are comparable. They both hack. Suzuki gets more hits (many of them bunts and bleeders that don't make it through the infield). Obviously Desmond strikes out more. All I said was that lots of walks don't necessarily make a good leadoff hitter (with the exception of Eddie Yost). If Desmond were to cut his Ks from 139 to 100, and turn 13 Ks into hits, he'd hit .275, plus about 35 OB basis points for his walks. (Besides, if Ichiro doesn't bounce back this year, he IS going to be comparable to Desmond.) Get your heads unwedged.

  50. Steve M. - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    sm13, thanks for that on Nady. It just doesn't look long-term for him depending on Michael Morse. I am recopying my post from yesterday with the latest updates.Steve M. said… Opening Day Roster predictions.ROTATONStephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, John Lannan. This will get interesting when Wang is ready.CATCHERWilson RamosINFIELDERSAdam LaRoche, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman. This assumes LaRoche is healthy.OUTFIELDERSJayson Werth, Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel if he is healthy. BULLPENTyler Clippard, Brad Lidge, Sean Burnett, Henry Rodriguez, Ross Detwiler, Tom Gorzelanny and Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus and Chad Durbin and Ryan Perry will compete for the 7th spot and then be reassigned/DFA'd when Storen is activated. BENCHJesus Flores, Mark DeRosa, Steve Lombardozzi, Brett Carroll, Chad Tracy, Xavier Nady. 5 of these players make it. One goes now. Another goes when Morse comes off the DL DLWang, Storen, MorseMarch 28, 2012 12:10 PM

  51. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Didn't Nady have to have TJ surgery? I thought I heard that last night on the broadcast yesterday.

  52. DFL - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    The Syracuse Chiefs ought to have a fine team this season. That's a good thing fort his franchise. Depth. An outfield of Harper, Brown and Nady. Blanco at short. Tracy at first. Teahan at third.

  53. sm13 - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Nady has had TJ surgery twice. And in an odd coincidence, he was once traded for Mike Cameron.

  54. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    And I was watching MASN last night (I know, I need a life), but they were talking about Ian and Espi and the OBP debate came up. Even Feel's Brother Phil, chimned in to say both Espi/Desi have to get better because there is someone waiting to take there place (Lombo/Rendon) and they both know it. I say, lets see how this plays out. I have a feeling the first 6 weeks will be the amount of time that they get to show they can handle 1/2 in the order. Thanfully, our first month is against teams we SHOULD beat

  55. Dave - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I'd rather have Durbin than Mattheus and Stammen than Gorzelanny.

  56. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Theo — come on. Let your right brain take the controls back from the left brain for a minute.IF Demsond cuts his K's back by about 40% and IF he turns some Ks into hits, like 10% more hits than his usual, and IF he matches his career high BB total, then he'll be tolerable at a .325 OBP??Nothing worse than a man-crush in sports. You need to get over Ian, move on.

  57. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    MicheleNady has had TWO TJ surgeries, plus a broken hand, in recent years. Hard to tell what he may have left. Saw the MLB broadcast yesterday, and Darling noted that Nady was an excellent athlete (he once was a Met) but that injuries had derailed his career.The Nats seem to have struck gold with DeRosa. Davey loved DeRosa going into ST, and now seems to be high on Nady going out. He was signed to a minor league deal, so he goes back down when Morse comes back from the DL, but he will stick with the organization. Another Boras client.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  58. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Congrats! SonnyG10 said… Hoora!!! Flash Alert!! My "Take Back the Park" tickets just arrived in the plain envelop from Texarkana, TX. I was beginning to think they forgot about me. Now back to your regular programming! March 29, 2012 10:33 AM

  59. Adam - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    This comes down to bench power I believe. Davey is on record with wanting some pop of the bench for use in late-game situations. Although slightly, I think Nady may be the best fit in that role.

  60. Binx Bolling - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    October 3, 2012 Nats line-upLombardozzi 2BEspinosa SSZimmerman 3BMorse 1BWerth RFRamos CHarper LFAnkiel CFZimmerman P

  61. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Stammen has earned a spot on this roster and anything otherwise is a disservice to the team. If you go on the merit of the way the pitchers have performed Stammen makes this team easily.

  62. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Speaking of TBTP tix, I'd already received my tix for the May series, but this afternoon I received my tix for the October series. Yay!SonnyG10 said…Hoora!!! Flash Alert!! My "Take Back the Park" tickets just arrived in the plain envelop from Texarkana, TX. I was beginning to think they forgot about me. Now back to your regular programming!March 29, 2012 10:33 AM





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