Washington Nationals: Who’s winning the third base competition?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals waits on deck against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game One of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals waits on deck against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game One of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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JUPITER, FL – FEBRUARY 25: Wilmer Difo #1 of the Washington Nationals bats during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the St Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on February 25, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The Nationals defeated the Cardinals 9-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL – FEBRUARY 25: Wilmer Difo #1 of the Washington Nationals bats during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the St Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on February 25, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The Nationals defeated the Cardinals 9-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Long-shots

While Kendrick will suit-up predominantly at first and second base, platooning with Zimmerman and Thames at first, and Castro at second, he could see time at third base as well. Kendrick has played 33 games at the hot corner in his career, including 15 last season for the Nationals, and he’s committed just one error.

Wilmer Difo, who turns 28 in early April, is a utility defender that the Nationals re-signed in December to a 1-year, $1 million deal. He’s played 296 games with the team since 2015, including 35 at third base, and has a career fielding percentage of .982. It’s important to note that he is out of minor league options and with some uncertainty of the team’s infield, Difo could have the inside track to a roster spot.

Jake Noll and Adrian Sanchez could both see time at third base at points this season, especially if one or the other are tearing it up in the minors and there’s trouble brewing at the big-league level. Noll, who was already optioned to AAA-Fresno, batted .304 with a home run this spring. Sanchez, who is still on the active roster, but is not expected to be with Washington come Opening Day. This Spring he is batting .250, with a home run and six hits.

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