Unlikely Nationals Prospect on Opening Day Roster?

The Nationals have cut down their Spring Training roster to 27 players, leaving just one final decision to be made. Will a surprise player end up making the final roster just days ahead of the start of the season?

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Spring Training is wrapping up and the Washington Nationals have been trimming their roster to 26 players for Opening Day in Cincinnati against the Reds on Thursday. Top prospects Dylan Crews, Brady House, and James Wood were reassigned to the Minor Leagues, leaving one prospect in Major League camp; Trey Lipscomb. We've mentioned Lipscomb quite a bit as a prospect to watch, as he had a productive 2023 season in the minors.

Lipscomb has been on a tear this spring, hitting .400 in 50 at-bats through March 24, according to MLB.com. He's hit one home run, two doubles, a triple, and drove in seven runs. He's played three different positions; shortstop, second base, and third base for the Nats this spring. Lipscomb is a versatile player who's raised his stock due to productivity at the plate. Trey hit .272 with 14 home runs and 72 RBI across two minor league levels(A+/AA) and played every infield position. Lipscomb could slot into any position in the infield and be productive.

Lipscomb has a legitimate chance to make the Nationals' Opening Day Roster. There's one cut to be made before Opening Day, as Mark Zuckerman outlined in his post on X yesterday. It brings up much controversy about who the final cut will be.

Who would be cut if Lipscomb were to break Spring Training with the Major League team? Traditionally, Major League teams carry four outfielders, so it's doubtful the player cut would be one of the four listed. That leaves Luís García Jr., Nick Senzel, Illdemaro Vargas, Nasim Nuñez, Joey Gallo, and Joey Meneses to choose from. It would shock me if Lipscomb made the team and didn't start every day because it would do nothing for his development to be a utility player. Trey is 23 years old and needs to play every game, and has has shown glimpses of his capability at the Major League level. Yes, it's Spring Training, but how else could Lipscomb prove he is ready for the Majors?

Luís García Jr. has underachieved in his short Major League career and is low on the totem pole in popularity among Nats' fans. That being said, it would shock me if García Jr. was cut before Opening Day. He's still just 24 years old and has had streaks of promise in his career for Washington. So who gets the boot? In my opinion, Illdemaro Vargas should be cut. It may not be a popular opinion among Nationals fans, but if the Nationals are serious about developing their young players, Vargas doesn't fit the mold. Vargas is 32-years-old and is likely going to regress this season. Nasim Nuñez, Washington's Rule-5 Draft selection, can fill the role of utility player off the bench and be the backup to the middle infield. Lipscomb also plays third so can serve as the backup to Senzel. And both Gallo and Meneses (sort of) can play the outfield if necessary. Vargas' utility role is not as necessary as it was last season.

With that being said, what do you think? Has Trey Lipscomb proved enough to make the Nationals Opening Day roster? If so, what is the corresponding roster move? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments!