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Marrero, who was the 15th overall pick in the 2006 draft, hit .248 with 10 runs batted in during a 31-game debut in 2011. Just as the bullpen developed in Kimball’s absence, the Nationals’ bench turned into a strength last year. Tyler Moore, a first baseman and outfielder who hit 10 home runs in only 156 at-bats in 2012, has entrenched himself in a role that might have been Marrero’s without the injury. With a bench that will include Moore, a catcher, outfielder Roger Bernadina, corner infielder Chad Tracy and outfielder-middle infielder Steve Lombardozzi, where does Marrero fit?

Like Kimball, Marrero says he can’t worry about it. He tried to come back too soon last year in the minors and had more problems. Now? He’s 100 percent. He was hitting .280 with one home run through his first 11 spring games.

“I’m just ready to show them that I’m healthy,” Marrero said. “Right now, I’m probably even better than I was before. My leg is in shape and I’m back in shape overall. I was happy for the team, for the friends I have on the team, that they were able to make the playoffs. That’s special.

“I’m bummed, yeah, that I wasn’t a part of it. Hopefully I come along for the ride this year.”