After a long and eventful Spring Training for the Washington Nationals, Opening Day is finally upon us, and the roster that will take the field for the Nationals Monday against the New York Mets is almost set.
Soon after Saturday’s exhibition loss at the hands of the New York Yankees, the Nationals made a few more roster moves that left the 25-man roster all but final for Opening Day.
According to multiple reports, first baseman/outfielder Clint Robinson made the 25-man roster. Robinson, whom the team signed to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training before camp, made an Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. And given his performance this spring, he certainly earned the honor.
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Robinson, 30, dominated with the bat this spring. The outfielder hit .320 (16-for-50) with two home runs, a triple, five doubles and eight RBIs.
Despite Robinson’s dominant spring, many questioned whether or not he would make the team. In fact, the competition for the bench spot that Robinson claimed this afternoon went down to the wire. Prior to manager Matt Williams‘ decision, Robinson was competing for the spot with outfielder Mike Carp, who has more big league experience than Robinson did not perform as well this spring.
Carp batted .200 (8-for-40) this spring, with a homer and five RBIs. The Nationals reassigned him to minor league camp after today’s game.
While Carp won’t be staying with the big league club, he could still come in handy for the Nationals at some point this season. The Nationals don’t have a ton of outfield depth, and if an outfielder (or first baseman Ryan Zimmerman) were to go on the disabled list this season, the team could turn to Carp, who is a career .254 hitter with 27 homers and 123 RBIs in parts of six big league seasons.
The Nationals also made a move in the bullpen, reassigning left-hander Rich Hill to minor league camp. Hill had been competing for a spot in the ‘pen with Xavier Cedeno, and it now looks like Cedeno will enter the season as the team’s second left-handed specialist, joining southpaw Matt Thornton.
While Cedeno will likely make the ‘pen with Hill on his way to the minors, the team has yet to finalize who will claim that final spot. Likewise, the Nationals have not yet announced if second baseman Dan Uggla has made the big league club, though it looks as though he will. One way or another, the deadline to finalize the roster is 3 p.m. ET Sunday, so we should know who will claim the last couple of spots soon.