Mar 16, 2014; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstopSteven Souza
(21) high-fives teammates after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals made another round of cuts Monday morning as they continue to shrink the roster with opening day just 14 days away.
Today’s cuts included Eury Perez, Steven Souza Jr., Sammy Solis, Mike Fontenot, Brian Goodwin and Koyie Hill. Perez and Souza were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, Solis was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg and the rest were reassigned to minor league camp.
This is by far the most significant round of cuts the team has made as most of these players have played really well this spring.
Just yesterday rumors were circling about the possibility of Souza making the opening day roster. The 24-year-old outfielder is 11 for 31 this spring with three doubles, a triple and three home runs in 17 Grapefruit League games. Souza’s most impressive performance came in yesterday’s game against the Astros, in which he went 3 for 3 with two home runs, three RBIs and a walk.
Solis also had a strong spring. The left-hander threw four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and walking one batter. Solis threw two scoreless innings against the Tigers Sunday afternoon. Despite his spring success, today’s move makes sense for the Nationals as starters are going deeper into games and it is becoming harder and harder to find innings for relievers in the Nationals’ crowded bullpen.
The Nationals have now cut a total of 20 players, with 44 players remaining in big league camp. The Nationals will likely make more cuts in the next few days and one way or another, that number will shrink to 25 in the next two weeks.