The roster shuffling continues to take place as Opening Day gets closer. This morning, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweeted that the Washington Nationals granted Kevin Frandsen his release as well as the news of the club re-assigning one of its better hitters this spring to minor league camp:
This move is not that surprising because the 32-year old Frandsen is one of the only players who has experience playing third base. The release means that the team will go with either Danny Espinosa, Ian Stewart, or Yunel Escobar, who will be getting his second consecutive start at third base today against the Miami Marlins.
In one season with the Nationals, Frandsen hit. 259 in 109 games with one home run and 17 RBI’s. While he was valued for his defensive versatility, he was not showing much with the bat this spring. In 22 spring games, Frandsen hit a dismal .086 (3-for-35) with two RBI’™s. Due to those struggles at the flate, Frandsen only saw two at-bats in a game twice in his last eight spring appearances.
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This release likely clears the room for Dan Uggla to make the Opening Day roster as the backup second baseman with Escobar and Stewart playing third base for the time being. This spring, Uggla is hitting .300 (9-for-20) with two home runs and six RBI’™s while drawing 11 walks. However, according to Matt Williams, nothing has been decided on Uggla:
The other news the Nationals broke this morning was that Tony Gwynn Jr. is being sent down to minor league camp. Gwynn Jr. had a very good spring for the Nats, hitting .341 in 21 games with one home run and two RBI’s. Gwynn Jr’s chances seemed good to make the roster, but the Nationals outfielder moves made those chances slimmer.
On Monday, the team acquired Matt den Dekker from the Mets in exchange for reliever Jerry Blevins. Minutes later, the team signed veteran Reed Johnson to a minor league deal after being cut by the Marlins.
Den dekker’™s versatility looks to be the deciding factor because he has shown the ability to play all three outfield positions while Gwynn Jr. has been mainly a center fielder and a left fielder during his time in the major leagues. Plus, Washington has Clint Robinson and Mike Carp, who have shown the ability to play the outfield this spring to come off the bench.