As spring training closes in, a look at the roster

Adam Kilgore
Copyright 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011; 1:11 PM

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) Jhonatan Solano (N) FIRST BASE (4) (1 D, 3 N) Michael Aubrey (N) Kevin Barker (N) Adam LaRoche (D) Chris Marrero (N) SECOND BASE (4) (2 D, 2 M) Alex Cora (M) Danny Espinosa (D) Alberto Gonzalez (M) Jerry Hairston (D) SHORTSTOP (2) (1 D, 1 N) Brian Bixler (N) Ian Desmond (D) THIRD BASE (1) (1 D) Ryan Zimmerman (D) LEFT FIELD (4) (2 D, 1 P, 1 N) Rick Ankiel (D) Roger Bernadina (P) Michael Morse (D) Laynce Nix (N) CENTER FIELD (3) (1 D, 2 N) Nyjer Morgan (D) Corey Brown (N) Jonathan Van Every (N) RIGHT FIELD (4) (1 D, 1 M, 2 N) Jeff Frazier (N) Bryce Harper (N) Matt Stairs (M) Jayson Werth (D) STARTING PITCHER (15) (4 D, 1 P, 3 M, 7 N) Luis Atilano (N) Brian Broderick (N) Matt Chico (N) Ross Detwiler (M) Tom Gorzelanny (P) Livan Hernandez (D) John Lannan (D) Jason Marquis (D) J.D. Martin (N) Shairon Martis (N) Yunesky Maya (M) Garrett Mock (N) Stephen Strasburg (N - INJ.) Chien-Ming Wang (M) Jordan Zimmermann (D) RELIEF PITCHER (18) (5 D, 1 P, 5 M, 7 N) Collin Balester (M) Joe Bisenius (N) Sean Burnett (D) Adam Carr (N) Tyler Clippard (D) Todd Coffey (D) Chad Gaudin (M) Cole Kimball (N) Cla Meredith (M) Ryan Mattheus (N) Elvin Ramirez (M) Henry Rodriguez (D) Atahualpa Severino (N) Doug Slaten (P) Craig Stammen (M) Drew Storen (D) Josh Wilkie (N) Tim Wood (N)

© 2011 The Washington Post Company