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
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 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
- Fister still working out mechanical glitches
- Nationals again can't beat struggling Reds
- Span, Escobar exit game vs. Reds with apparent injuries
- Max Scherzer gets All-Star nod, two Nats left out
- Live Thread: Nationals open series vs. Reds
- More revealing Bryce Harper Body Issue photos released
- Bryce Harper makes decision on Home Run Derby
- Nationals sweep Giants behind Zimmermann, Ramos
- Two Giants ejected after arguing call vs. Nationals
- Live Thread: Nationals face Giants in Sunday night matchup