Nationals Lose Four In Rule 5 Draft


The Washington Nationals weren’t expected to pick up any players in the Rule 5 draft today, and lost some more organizational depth when four players were picked up by other teams; two in the Major League portion and two in the AAA portion.

The Nationals lack of minor league pitching took another hit, with three pitchers being chosen by other teams in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. [Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports]In the Major League portion, the team lost left-handed pitcher Daniel Rosenbaum who spent last year in AA-Harrisburg. He was 8-10 with a 3.94 ERA. His FIP was slightly lower at 3.41. Rosenbaum was a 22nd round pick out of Xavier University in 2009 and 2012 was his first full season in AA. He is 25 years old and because he throws strikes and has a low ceiling, wouldn’t be rushed by getting to the Major Leagues. He doesn’t have star stuff but with a team that has struggled with pitching depth like Colorado has, he may have a chance to stick.

The Nationals also lost infielder Jeff Kobernus to the Boston Red Sox who consequently dealt him to the Detroit Tigers. Kobernus was a 2nd round pick in 2009 and spent last year in AA as well. Kobernus hit .282/.325/.333 with one home run and 19 RBI. He played in 82 games last year and it was his first action in AA. Like Rosenbaum, because he has a low ceiling and can get on base he can sneak on to a major league roster but don’t expect either of them to make a huge impact at the Major League level.

Both Rosenbaum and Kobernus will have to spend the entire season on the Major League roster or be offered back to the Nationals. Washington had lost Brad Meyers to the Yankees last year but he was returned back to the team following the season.

In the minor league portion, the Nationals lost pitcher Jack McGeary who was a 6th round pick in 2009 and has struggled with injuries since turning professional. In 6 minor league seasons, he has a 8-18 record and a 4.97 ERA between rookie leagues and A-ball. Last year he was limited to under 10 innings and had a 6.75 ERA. He was picked up by Boston.

The Dodgers picked up another pitcher in Hector Nelo. Nelo spent some time in AA last year and has a 1-6 record  despite a 2.73 ERA. Nelo was a 15th round pick by the Texas Rangers and joined the Nationals organization in 2011.

The major thing that happened today was that the Nationals lost three more minor league pitchers and the depth that I thought was needed is even more apparent now as the Nationals may not even have enough pitchers to fill all of their minor league teams.

The Nationals left the Winter Meetings but I would expect a bucket load of Spring Training invites to be handed out in the next few months leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting.