The Nationals made significant changes to their major league camp today with Adam Carr, Garrett Mock, Luis Atilano, J.D. Martin, Josh Wilkie, Carlos Maldonado, Jhonatan Solano, Michael Aubrey, Kevin Barker, Jonathan Van Every, and Jeff Fraizer all being jettisoned in the team’s second round of cuts.
Carr and Mock, right-handed pitchers, were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse while the rest were assigned to minor league camp. Right-hander Cla Meredith, who signed a minor league deal but will soon undergo Tommy John ligament reconstruction surgery, was released.
Washington did not end 2010 draft pick Bryce Harper’s time with the big league club.
That puts the number of players in major league camp with the Nationals at 46, following the early cuts of pitchers Joe Bisenius, Matt Chico and Shairon Martis on Friday, March 4, and their 40-man roster at 38.
Outside of Carr and Mock, all of the players cut thus far have been non-roster invitees, leaving right-handers Chad Gaudin, Ryan Mattheus and Tim Wood as the only non-roster pitchers left in major league camp.
Catcher Derek Norris, infielders Brian Bixler and Alex Cora and outfielders Laynce Nix and Matt Stairs are the only remaining position players in big league camp who are not on the 40-man roster.
Mock pitched in one game for the Nationals in 2010, allowing two home runs and five walks in 3.1 innings. This spring he appeared in three games, pitched 4.2 innings and allowed 11 runs — five earned — off nine hits and six walks. He struck out only one batter.
Carr, an 18th round pick in the 2006 draft, has bounced around the Nationals minor league system the past few years but put together a strong 2010, going 6-2 with a 2.75 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A. This spring he was 1-0 in three games (4 IP) and allowed just one hit, didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.
As for Harper, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told reporters in Florida today that while they did keep him this time, it certainly hasn’t changed his chances to make the Opening Day roster. They may ship him out with the next group or they may not wait until another full round of cuts to send him to minor league camp.
“It may not be that, when the time comes, it’s with a group of others,” Riggleman told reporters. “It may be that we keep him around a few days, or keep him through the next cut where we do six more or something. I don’t know yet.”