Washington Nationals release Sean Burnett, Reed Johnson in final preseason roster moves

Today’s District Daily discusses the Washington Nationals’ final preseason roster moves and the team’s bullpen decisions heading into the 2016 season.

Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. With just one day remaining before Opening Day, get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

We start off today’s Daily with some roster moves the Nationals made this morning as they continue to prepare for tomorrow’s opener in Atlanta.

After manager Dusty Baker announced his final Opening Day roster earlier this weekend, the Nationals released veterans Sean Burnett and Reed Johnson. The team also reassigned infielder Brendan Ryan to minor league camp. Burnett was competing for a spot in the bullpen this spring while Johnson and Ryan were trying to make the bench.

The Nationals made the announcement this morning from their official Twitter account:

Burnett was coming off serious arm injuries but pitched well this spring, throwing 8 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven batters and walking just one. The left-hander’s success was one of the best stories out of the Nationals’ camp this spring and many fans hoped the former-Nat would make the Opening Day roster.

Like Burnett, Johnson was also trying to make the team after a 2015 season that was lost to injuries. Johnson played in 21 games, batting .313 with four RBIs. Ryan, whom the Nationals signed during the offseason to add depth to the infield, hit .379 in 17 games this spring.

With today’s moves, the Nationals have now finalized their active roster for the beginning of the 2016 season. Here’s the team’s official Opening Day roster, which they announced via Twitter:

Also in today’s Daily, Brian Foley of isportsweb writes about why he believes Baker made a mistake with the relievers he chose for the Opening Day roster. Specifically, Foley believes the Nationals made a mistake by sending offseason acquisition Trevor Gott to Triple-A Syracuse.

Be sure to check out Foley’s article below, it’s definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

What are the Washington Nationals doing?

(Brian Foley, isportsweb)

Late Friday night, the Washington Nationals finalized their roster. RHP Trevor Gott has been sent to Triple A, with righties Blake Treinen and Matt Belisle sticking to the major league roster. While back end of the bullpen moves seem relatively minor, this decision makes the Nats worse and completely changes the outlook on the season.

Trevor Gott needed to be on the Opening Day roster for three reasons. First, he is a pretty good pitcher. He is 23 years old, possesses a 96 mph fastball, and posted a 3.02 ERA for the Angels last season. Second, the Nationals needed to shake up the pen. The Nats did not exactly have a litany of relievers with ERAs in the low three’s last year, and needed some fresh blood for 2016. Finally, Gott needed to be in the bullpen because of what the Nationals gave up to get him. Rizzo traded Washington’s starting shortstop for him! Read full article here.

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