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Souza, Solis, Goodwin among latest cuts

Mar 17, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT

AP AP

The Nationals made another round of cuts Monday morning, removing six more players from their big-league camp roster, including outfielders Steven Souza Jr. and Brian Goodwin and left-hander Sammy Solis.

Souza and fellow outfielder Eury Perez were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse, with Solis optioned to Class AA Harrisburg. Goodwin, infielder Mike Fontenot and catcher Koyie Hill (none of them members of the 40-man roster) were reassigned to minor-league camp.

Souza and Solis, in particular, impressed during their first springs in major-league camp and both appear to be prime candidates to make their Nationals debuts before season’s end.

Souza hit .355 (11-for-31) with three homers and a 1.235 OPS in 17 Grapefruit League games, picking up right where he left off following a breakthrough 2013 at Harrisburg that earned him a spot on the Nationals’ 40-man roster. A third-round draft pick in 2007, Souza has endured through struggles, injuries and a PED suspension to re-establish himself as one of the organization’s better all-around prospects.

Solis tossed four scoreless innings in two relief appearances this spring but now will be stretched out to start at Harrisburg. The 25-year-old lefty, the Nationals’ second-round draft pick in 2010, returned from Tommy John surgery last season to post a 3.25 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) at Class A Potomac and earn a spot on the 40-man roster. Given his advanced age and return to health, Solis now figures to be on a fast track to the majors and could be summoned by the Nats this season to help either out of the rotation or bullpen.

Goodwin, a first-round pick in 2011, remains one of the organization’s top prospects and a candidate for the club’s center fielder of the future. The 23-year-old figures to open the year in Syracuse after going 5-for-25 with a homer and four walks in 15 Grapefruit League games.

Perez was 6-for-23 with two doubles this spring and is expected to play across the outfield at Syracuse. Fontenot, signed over the winter to a minor-league deal, was just 2-for-19 this spring and committed a team-high five errors. Hill, another offseason addition, was 5-for-13 in limited playing time this spring.

With this latest round of moves, the Nationals now have 44 players remaining in big-league camp two weeks prior to Opening Day.

  1. nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    I thought Steven Souza Jr. would make it at least another week at big league camp.

    • NatsLady - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      No, the regulars are going to start playing 7, 8, 9 innings, and he needs to do that also.

      • nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        Good point. He wasnt going to make the team and now its almost down to the true contenders minus guys like Vettleson and a few bullpen arms and of course Leon and Solano and Peterson and Rhymes.

  2. Section 222 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I take it these cuts are made mostly to make sure that the regulars, both hitters and pitchers, start getting more playing time. Souza certainly impressed, but I’d rather that our five likely O.D. outfielders divide the remaining Grapefruit League playing time. Are any of the minor league outfielders left in camp?

  3. nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Mark said 44 left in camp. Is Michael Taylor still there? Heres 43 names. Im missing someone if this list is accurate. Probably missing a reliever?

    Aaron Barrett
    Jerry Blevins
    Xavier Cedeno
    Tyler Clippard
    Manny Delcarmen
    Ross Detwiler
    Doug Fister
    Christian Garcia
    Gio Gonzalez
    Taylor Jordan
    Ryan Mattheus
    Michael Gonzalez
    Ross Ohlendorf
    Felipe Rivero 
    Tanner Roark
    Rafael Soriano
    Craig Stammen
    Drew Storen
    Stephen Strasburg
    Blake Treinen
    Jordan Zimmermann

    Sandy Leon
    Jose Lobaton
    Wilson Ramos
    Jhonatan Solano

    Jamey Carroll
    Ian Desmond
    Danny Espinosa
    Adam LaRoche
    Brock Peterson
    Anthony Rendon
    Wil Rhymes
    Zach Walters
    Ryan Zimmerman

    Scott Hairston
    Bryce Harper
    Jeff Kobernus
    Nate McLouth
    Tyler Moore
    Denard Span
    Michael A. Taylor 
    Drew Vettleson
    Jayson Werth

    • David Proctor - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Taylor was already optioned to AA.

      • nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Thats what I thought he was in the earlier cut. Then its 42 and missing 2 names.

      • nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        NatsLady, I just need an edit button to look more intelligent (delete Michael Taylor from my list above ;) )

    • NatsLady - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Koyie Hill?

      • nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        He was part of todays cuts.

      • NatsLady - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Oh, sorry, read more carefully, Hill was sent to minor-league camp. Wish I could delete posts!

    • Kenz aFan - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      After you remove Taylor, who was already cut and Vettleson who was never on the list, you’re left with 41 players.

      You’re list is missing Luis Ayala, Chris Snyder and Brandon Laird (who the Nats just traded for) which would bring your list to 44 players

      • nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Thanks for answering that. I didn’t have Brandon Laird and Ayala was an oversight. Chris Snyder was the elusive name!

  4. nats128 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      good to hear! I really hope he is fully fit for most of the season and produces like his usual self!

    • Eric - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      Woo!!! Keep the good news coming!

  5. philipd763 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Souza is impressive with the bat. Would not be surprised to see Jamie Carroll win the utility infielder spot over Danny.

    • Doc - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      You need to become surprised!

      A uitility infielder is expected to be primarily a fielder. Danny has more range, a better arm, and potentially more upside with the bat than Carroll.

      His hitting format has improved during ST, even if the hits haven’t dropped in..

      • natinalsgo - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        Nats control Espinosa with an option and Carroll probably has an opt-out. Could be a strategic maneuver.

        That would not surprise me and Danny could play every day in Syracuse.

  6. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Carroll is a risk; also Hairston. We may think Carroll has a lot to offer, and Rizzo appears to be wedded to Hairston’s $2.5MM. So there are reasons either or both is on the Opening Day roster. However, if neither hits, we have the return of Alex Cora and Matt Stairs and the Nats are five-six games behind somebody by the middle of May when Rizzo finally gets a flash of the blindingly obvious. Getting off to a fast start is so, so important and I’m afraid Rizzo’s bench is going to start with a power shortage.

    • pdowdy83 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Hairston hit 10 homers in 174 plate appearances last season. There is no shortage of power in his bat. He lacks in many other areas but if power off the bench is what you are looking for he is not a bad option. Over his last 572 plate appearances Hairston has 30 homers and 33 other extra base hits. He also hit .238 and had a .767 OPS with 3 homers as a pinch hitter last season despite his ridiculously low BABIP. While I don’t want him playing in the outfield a lot having him on the team for strategic purposes and his ability to crush lefties is ok with me.

      While I agree with you on Carroll probably not having much left I do not get the constant hate on Hairston. He is not Matt Stairs and people need to stop comparing the two.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        Matt Stairs was the most dangerous LH pinch-hitter in the NL until he wasn’t. Hairston played in cozy Wrigley Field for half of 2013 and the Cubs couldn’t wait to get rid of three-quarters of his contract. What other teams think of their own players is instructive. Then he came to DC and stunk (albeit no as badly ats he stunk in Chicago.). If I have to wait 17.4 ABs between each significant contribution that’s a lot of PHing opportunities wasted and runners on base squandered.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Great analogy Theo. Yeesh and Sheesh were they awful. I still can’t wipe from my mind some Stairs ABs especially 3 strikes looking against Halladay. A non-MASN Classic!

  7. NatsLady - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Anyone who likes stats, this looks like fun. I’ve already signed up.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23046

  8. philipd763 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Well, Danny has not been impressive in camp and if he’s pouting he’s not going to make the team..

    • David Proctor - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Danny has looked just fine in camp. Results in camp DO NOT MATTER. He’s lined out a lot, made solid contact, cut down on his strikeouts. The process is more important and the process has been good.

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        +1

        Danny had a huge spring last year and look what that lead to. He has shown an attempt at changing his approach. While still not perfect he is a better bench option than Jamey Carroll at this time. He gives the team some pop and speed to go along with excellent defense at both up the middle positions.

    • sjm308 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      I have not seen one shot of Danny or the brief time he has been on TV when he was doing nothing but smiling or focusing. I have not seen one pout this spring. It was something we all definitely saw last year but to continue to bring it up now when its not being done is just incorrect. I thought about another deal for the Tigers when they were talking about it on the radio yesterday. Its an easy trade Robbie Ray for Danny!! Get to work Mike

    • zmunchkin - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Managers of teams are not necessarily looking at the same things we are when they evaluate players. And that is a good thing. For batters they care more what pitches they go after and which ones they leave alone – that is more important to them that the results. A hard line drive that is hit right at a defender is still a hard line drive. Likewise for pitchers, they are looking more at what they are throwing and working on as opposed to whether they get the batter out.

      Are the results important? Yes. But not nearly as important as whether the player is doing the right things at bat and in the field.

  9. David Proctor - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    James Wagner ‏@JamesWagnerWP 1m
    Doesn’t appear anything has been said definitely but certainly a sign. Taylor Jordan starts Wednesday & Ross Detwiler gets one inning.

    James Wagner ‏@JamesWagnerWP 1m
    Manager Matt Williams had been targeting tomorrow’s off day as the day to start lining up the starting rotation for the season.

    Now that’s interesting. It looks like Detwiler is headed to the pen as the second lefty.

    • Danny - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      That scenario is what I have been advocating for. Detwiler had shown a continues inability to prevent runs later on in games as lineups adjust to him. I view him as being more effective in 1-3 inning spurts of of the BP. If Taylor is ready to handle the 5 spot at this point remains to be seen.

    • alexva6 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      while I view Detwiler as a starter, absent of Cedeno or Gonzalez proving a viable option I think this teams is best constructed with him in the bull pen.

      the requires Ohlendorf, Roark or Taylor being starter #5 and I’m not convinced Ohlendorf will be healthy opening day

      • jd - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        You don’t want Ohlendorf in your rotation any way. Taylor Jordan needs to either win the 5th spot outright or go pitch in Syracuse every 5th day. Roark is probably more versatile so he can make it out of the pen.I am still not convinced that Det won’t be the 5th starter although I am in total agreement with Danny in that Det profiles as a reliever more than a starter.

      • letswin3 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Yeah, count me among those that see Det as a lights out lefty out of the pen (check his numbers for the first time through an opponents lineup) … and one that can go 2 or 3 innings, and even a spot start, if needed. And Roark or Taylor as the #5 would both be acceptable, although Roark is probably a little ahead of Taylor right now.

  10. blovy8 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    If Espinosa maintains this approach, I bet the pop will be gone.

    • masterfishkeeper - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Interesting view. He’s had extra base power this spring.

  11. naterialguy - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Lots of short memories with Det. I guess that’s appropriate for a snowy st Paddy’s day. But there was time not long ago (like 10 months ago) when people were raving about how good Detwiler had become and he was or should be the #4 starter and would be at minimum # 3 on most teams. I think Detweiler should be #5 ohlendorf in the bullpen.
    And lets not forget the way he pitched in the playoffs…..cool as a frozen cucumber

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