Mar 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals removed one more name from the mix for the final spot on their bench this morning, optioning infielder Zach Walters to Class AAA Syracuse.
Walters entered camp as a long shot to crack the Opening Day roster, but the 24-year-old did everything he could to make a case for himself with a strong offensive performance. In 15 Grapefruit League games, he hit .379 (11-for-29) with a homer, five RBI and a 1.075 OPS.
Acquired from the Diamondbacks in the 2011 deadline deal for Jason Marquis, Walters broke through last season when he clubbed 29 homers at Syracuse and earned a September promotion to Washington.
But Walters faced stiff competition this spring from fellow infielders in camp, most notably Danny Espinosa, who is expected to make the Opening Day roster as the club’s primary backup infielder.
There does remain one more bench job up for grabs, with Tyler Moore and Jamey Carroll the likely finalists for that position ahead of the only other remaining position players in big-league camp: Jeff Kobernus, Will Rhymes and Brock Peterson.
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals lament close call in loss to Phillies
- Nats struggle early, lose in controversial fashion to Phillies
- LaRoche gets rare night off with tight back
- Gonzalez faces Hamels in showdown of southpaws
- Nats' Triple-A affiliate Syracuse raking in postseason awards
- A primer on postseason roster eligibility rules
- Around the NL East: Stanton making strong push for NL MVP
- Nationals can't pull off dramatic rally this time
- Nats' momentum stalls vs. Phillies in first game of long road trip
- Cabrera out of lineup, but not seriously injured