The first roster deadline of the new 2020 season hit at 4 p.m. Sunday. Teams needed to decide on their 60-man player pool for the season. This, of course, is not as straightforward as, “here are 60 names the team will choose from.” Some players could still choose to opt out. Also, several of the young players on the list are there for workout reasons as opposed to their likelihood of playing in the major leagues during a 60-game season.
Teams will open the season with 30 players on the active roster, plus a road taxi squad (of up to three players) and another pool of players left behind.
The roster is cut to 28 for the third and fourth weeks, then to 26 for the final two weeks (which would have been the roster total in 2020 if it was a normal season).
So, a few notes on the initial 60-man pool, which contains almost all of the expected names:
-- Infielder Luis Garcia, and pitchers Jackson Rutledge and Seth Romero are in the pool. Garcia is the Nationals’ top minor-league prospect (considering Carter Kieboom’s situation in 2020). Rutledge was the team’s first-round pick in 2019 and the top pitching prospect. Romero was the team’s first-round pick in 2017. He was sent home from spring training the next year for violating team policy, then had Tommy John Surgery in September of 2018. This trio is part of the future for the Nationals one way or another. They will either pan out and help the team win games or they will flame out and leave Washington with several years of empty first-round results.
-- The Nationals announced Sunday middle infielder Adrián Sánchez was placed on the 60-day injured list because of a torn Achilles tendon. The announcement was a surprise, and no further information was provided. Sánchez otherwise would have been in the 60-player pool and possibly among the 30 active players to start the season.
-- Not on the list is 2018 first-round pick Mason Denaburg. He was selected out of high school. To be left off with Rutledge and Romero on, though both of those players are older, is a bit odd.
-- Of the 60 players, 36 are pitchers. Tells you what the Nationals think the priority will be in a 60-game sprint.
-- Javy Guerra remains on the list. Don’t be surprised if he is on the initial 30-man active roster.
-- Aaron Barrett, Wil Crowe, James Borque and Tim Cate are other intriguing names on the list.
To the list:
Michael A. Taylor
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