Washington Nationals: Jeremy Guthrie Last One Standing For Long Man Job
By Ricky Keeler
As the Washington Nationals make more roster cuts, it looks like Jeremy Guthrie is the last one standing for the long man role
Early this morning, the Washington Nationals continued to trim the roster down with more cuts. Today, the focus is on who will end up being the long man if there is one. The Nats decided to send down A.J. Cole and Jacob Turner down to triple-A and outright release Vance Worley:
With those cuts, it leaves Jeremy Guthrie as the last one standing if the Nats decide to go with a long man in their bullpen. Last night, the 37-year-old has his last audition against the Miami Marlins and pitched well. He went four innings, gave up one run on three hits, and struck out three in last night’s loss:
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Before March 20, Guthrie was going only two innings at a time. However, over his last couple of outings, he has given up just the lone run in 8.1 innings. Plus, he has struck out 15 batters, which is the second most of any pitcher on the team this spring (Sammy Solis has 18).
The non-roster invitee has clearly pitched better than Worley this spring. Worley, who was also a non-rsoter invitee, gave up eight earned runs in 15 innings before being released.
But, if Koda Glover ends up being the closer or on this team, the Nats don’t have the option of sending any reliever down to the minor league because of options. Right now, it appears the last two roster spots are going to go to a combination of Guthrie, Wilmer Difo, and Michael Taylor. But, how many pitchers can Dusty Baker carry in his bullpen and will Difo and Taylor both win roster spots?
Since the Washington Nationals don’t have much starter depth at the triple-A level outside of Cole and Austin Voth, Guthrie could always go down to Syracuse. But, the question is would he exercise the opt-out in his contract and try to sign with a Major League team?
Right now, the Nats appear to have a lot of depth in their bullpen even though they haven’t named a closer yet. However, if they decide not to go with a long man, they would have to go with a whole bullpen game should a sudden injury occur to one of their starters.
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With the team heading north for their exhibition games after tomorrow afternoon, Guthrie has at least made the decision to keep or get rid of him a lot tougher with the way he has pitched this spring.