Mar 26, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Nationals optioned utilityman Jeff Kobernus to Class AAA Syracuse and catcher Sandy Leon to Class AA Harrisburg this evening, moves that in turn finalized their Opening Day roster of position players.
Today’s signing of veteran infielder Kevin Frandsen was the last piece of the puzzle, leaving no available spots for Kobernus and Leon, who both appeared in the Nationals’ 3-2 loss to the Cardinals in Jupiter before being sent down.
Those final moves leave only 13 position players left in big-league camp, the 13 who (barring a last-minute trade or injury) will head north Thursday evening and open the season on the roster.
That group includes Danny Espinosa, whose spot on the team had appeared secure for some time but is now secure. The 26-year-old infielder, who was demoted to Syracuse last season after hitting .158 in 44 games and was never recalled, will most likely make the roster as a backup at both second base and shortstop. Manager Matt Williams hasn’t officially named his starting second baseman, but all indications for weeks have suggested Anthony Rendon will get the job.
With their roster of position players and reliever now set, the only remaining question for the Nationals is the identity of their No. 5 starter, with a decision between Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan expected to be made Saturday.
Here, then, is how the Opening Day roster will look (aside from that final pitching decision)…
STARTING PITCHERS (5)
Tanner Roark/Taylor Jordan
RELIEF PITCHERS (7)
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Friday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
Through Friday's games
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 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.
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