Ross sent to Triple-A for fi­nal ros­ter

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY TODD DYBAS

Pitcher Joe Ross was sent to Triple-A Syra­cuse on Sun­day be­cause the Washington Na­tion­als don’t need a fifth starter un­til the mid­dle of April.

Send­ing Ross down opened an ex­tra spot on the 25-man ros­ter, which may be handy on Open­ing Day be­cause of third base­man An­thony Ren­don’s ail­ing calf.

Ren­don fouled a ball off his left calf March 28. He has not played in a game since. Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker said Ren­don took bat­ting prac­tice Satur­day.

Ren­don’s in­jury and the cal­en­dar that al­lowed the tem­po­rary de­par­ture of Ross have com­bined to land Wilmer Difo a spot on the Open­ing Day 25-man ros­ter. Michael A. Tay­lor has also made the team as the fourth out­fielder.

Difo can play mul­ti­ple in­field po­si­tions. He will back up Stephen Drew in the role of util­ity in­fielder. If Ren­don can’t play Mon­day when the Na­tion­als start the sea­son at home with a 1:05 p.m. game, ex­pect the left-handed Drew to play third base against Mi­ami starter Edi­son Volquez. Drew is 4-for-14 in his ca­reer against Volquez.

Tay­lor used an­other hot spring to again make the team. How­ever, his tor­rid num­bers from last spring did not trans­late to the reg­u­lar sea­son. At this point, he is a de­fen­sive re­place­ment and pinch-run­ner who will re­ceive spot starts when other out­field­ers need a break.

Washington’s ro­ta­tion for the first week opens with Stephen Stras­burg on Mon­day, Tan­ner Roark on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a day off, then Gio Gon­za­lez on Thurs­day. Max Scherzer, the 2016 Na­tional League Cy Young Award win­ner, will pitch the series opener Fri­day in Philadel­phia de­spite pitch­ing April 1. Scherzer has been rapidly re­cov­er­ing this spring from a stress frac­ture in the sec­ond knuckle of his right ring fin­ger that oc­curred last sea­son. The Na­tion­als moved Gon­za­lez into his spot, giv­ing Scherzer an ex­tra day of rest and keep­ing Gon­za­lez on his reg­u­lar sched­ule. Scherzer will face Vince Ve­lasquez in Philadel­phia.

Washington will carry two catch­ers: Matt Wi­eters and Jose Lo­ba­ton. Difo joins Ryan Zim­mer­man (1B), Daniel Mur­phy (2B), Trea Turner (SS), Ren­don (3B), Adam Lind (1B) and Drew among the in­field­ers on the fi­nal 25-man ros­ter.

Bryce Harper (RF), Adam Ea­ton (CF), Jayson Werth (LF), Tay­lor (OF) and Chris Heisey (PH/LF) make up the out­field.

The bullpen will con­sist of closer Blake Treinen, Shawn Kel­ley (RHP), Sammy So­lis (LHP), Koda Glover (RHP), Enny Romero (LHP), Joe Blan­ton (RHP) and Oliver Perez (LHP).

Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who was among the late options for the fi­nal ros­ter spot, was re­as­signed to mi­nor-league camp on Sun­day.

Joe Ross

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.