As spring training closes in, a look at Nationals roster
There is probably still some snow piled up in some corners of Nationals Park, and pitchers and catchers don't report until next week. But make no mistake: With the conclusion of the Super Bowl, it's unofficially baseball season. Get the sunflower seeds ready.
As of now, the Nationals will be choosing their 25-man opening day roster from 61 players in their big league camp. Some of the decisions are obvious. Others will be sorted out in Viera as February turns to March and winter turns to spring.
Chances are, there will be some minor additions this week. Below is what the Nationals have now for now, listed in alphabetical order by position and cataloged by their chances to make the opening day roster - D for Definite, P for Probably, M for Maybe and N for Not likely.
There are obviously judgment calls here. In my estimation, there are 19 definites, leaving six spots open for some degree of competition: backup catcher, fifth starter, two bullpens spots, utility infielder and fifth outfielder.
There were even decisions in how to categorize players. Michael Morse can play first and third, but for these purposes he's listed under only left field, the position he seems most likely to contribute at this year. There will be five or so players capable of playing third base, but on this list Ryan Zimmerman is the only player listed. You could put Jerry Hairston almost anywhere, but he's second base here. You get the idea.
So, now, here's the list:
CATCHER (6) (1 D, 2 M, 3 N)
Jesus Flores (M)
Carlos Maldonado (N)
Derek Norris (N)
Wilson Ramos (P)
Ivan Rodriguez (D)