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Ohlendorf, Delcarmen, Garcia among 6 more cuts

Mar 20, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT

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VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals made six more cuts before this afternoon’s game against the Tigers, bringing even more clarity to the few remaining roster battles over the final week of spring training.

Right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Christian Garcia and catcher Jhonatan Solano were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse, with fellow reliever Manny Delcarmen and infielders Brock Peterson and Will Rhymes re-assigned to minor-league camp.

None of the moves was especially surprising, but collectively they pare down what had been the most wide-open competitions of the spring: the final spot on the bench and the final spot in the bullpen.

With Ohlendorf, Garcia and Delcarmen now out of the mix — and with Luis Ayala now reportedly signing with the Orioles following his release yesterday — there are fewer names still in the running for the Nationals’ Opening Day bullpen. The remaining contenders: right-handers Ryan Mattheus (who makes his Grapefruit League debut today after missing all of camp with a chest injury), Aaron Barrett and Blake Treinin, plus left-handers Xavier Cedeno and Michael Gonzalez. Tanner Roark also could wind up making the roster out of the bullpen if he isn’t named No. 5 starter.

Ohlendorf will prove an expensive insurance arm at Syracuse. The 31-year-old signed a guaranteed, $1.25 million contract over the winter, and he’ll still make that full salary in the minors.

With Rhymes and Peterson now out of the mix, three position players remain in camp battling for one spot on the bench: Tyler Moore, Jamey Carroll and Jeff Kobernus. Each brings something different to the table — Moore provides power, Carroll has experience, Kobernus offers speed — and the decision might well come down to what specifically the Nationals think they need most from that position.

Solano’s demotion leaves the Nationals will four catchers in big-league camp. Wilson Ramos and Jose Lobaton are locks to make the club, with Sandy Leon and Chris Snyder still here serving as spring training backups.

  1. Section 222 - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Ohlie’s $1.25 million is nothing compared to the $5 million insurance arm they had in 2012. I’m glad he’s there but he’s probably No. 3 on the depth chart of who would make a spot start behind Jordan/Roark and Det. I suppose it might depend on the scheduling more than anything else. Good options to have.

    • tcostant - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      So if drop a $20 bill on the ground and it blows away. Then later you have a $5 bill on the ground, should you pick it up or just say, “my 20 dollar bill blew away earlier, so a 5 dollar bill is no big deal”?

      Just trying to understanding you point.

      • Section 222 - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        Really? Well, my point is that Mark said the $1.25 million was a lot to pay for an insurance policy. But in 2012, we stashed John Lannan and his $5 million salary in Syracuse for the year. It was totally worth it, as I’m sure you remember. $1.25 million doesn’t seem like a lot of money to pay an experienced MLB starter who is able to be called up (once he’s healthy ) when needed. I’d much rather have him available than rely on Cole, Solis, or some untested rookie as we did last year with Karns, for example.

        Make sense?

  2. scbilly - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    What’s the option situation for Kobernus and Moore? Surely that boat sailed for Carroll a long time ago. I assume that would be a factor in who stays in Washington and who can be safely stashed in Syracuse to start the year.

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      The technicalities here are confusing but probably irrelevant – a 40yo Carroll is not headed back to AAA.

      Same thing would probably happen as with Ayala, who was likewise a vet signed to a minor league contract – the team grants him an unconditional release.

  3. philipd763 - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    I was all for the Lobaton acquisition but he certainly hasn’t looked impressive this spring. Runners have been having a field day when he is behind the plate and his offense is weak.

    • natfan33 - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      His record indicates his throwing arm is weak, has had a poor steals against forever. Nats wanted him for his switch hitting.

      • Section 222 - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        And his pitch framing.

  4. alexva6 - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    I feel for Ohlendorf as he appeared to have found something last year with his new windup. But since that Met game when all of a sudden he couldn’t hit 80 with his fastball, he has not been the same.

    1.25M will help ease the pain a bit but guys like him don’t get that many chances.

  5. shawndc04 - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    I’m surprised that Treinen is still around, but with his fastball hitting 98 I guess they want a longer look. If Det is the other relief lefty, Barrett may sick as another righty reliever, particularly since Soriano looks so shaky.

  6. wearenationals - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Off topic: Lucas Giolito and the GCL Nats get their rings. The farm system is alive and well.

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NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 19.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.5 +1.5
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's early games

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