Mar 5, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Matt Purke (50) throws against the New York Mets in spring training action at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Nats Make Third Round of Cuts

The Washington Nationals made more cuts Thursday morning as the number of players in major league camp continues to shrink with opening day just two weeks away.

Today’s round of cuts included Michael Taylor, Matt Purke, Clay Hensley, Josh Roenicke, Daniel Stange and Danny Rosenbaum. Taylor and Purke were optioned to Double-A Harrisburg and the rest were reassigned to minor league camp.

Of those cut today, several are veterans who were hoping to make the opening day roster. But the bullpen is stacked this spring for Washington and unless a player is a front-runner in the competition for the last couple of spots in the bullpen, innings will be very hard to come by.

That being said, it is not all bad news for veterans like Roenicke and Hensley. Sure they probably won’t be with the team on opening day, but they will have plenty of innings in the minors to show that they still have what it takes to succeed in the major leagues.

Odds are, all of those veterans and some of the team’s young prospects will contribute at the big league level at some point this season. Baseball is a crazy sport, and if the Nationals are going to make a deep playoff run, they’ll need all 40 guys to do it — not just those on the 25-man roster.

The Nationals have now cut 14 players from their big league camp and more roster decisions are expected to come in the next few days. The roster is still nowhere near where it needs to be, but it’s getting there. It’s a slow process and it’ll probably take a couple of weeks to shrink the roster to 25, but the Nationals are making progress. And with the roster shrinking everyday, we know that opening day is right around the corner.

Tags: Washington Nationals

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