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The pitching schedule was overcrowded. These cuts came right as the club is getting its starters and relievers in game shape. Here’s how they broke down by position:

Pitchers (in alphabetical order) — Joan Adon, Bryan Bonnell, Tim Cate, Cade Cavalli, Jacob Condra-Bogan, Matt Cronin, Tyler Dyson, Tyler Eppler, Cole Henry, Gabe Klobotsis, Jefry Rodríguez, Jackson Rutledge

Catchers — Israel Pineda, Jakson Reetz, Raudy Read

Infielders — Jackson Cluff, Drew Mendoza, Jake Noll

Outfielders — Cody Wilson

Since Adon, Antuna and Noll are on the 40-man roster, they were officially assigned to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings. The rest Stitched Washington Nationals Jerseys were moved to the “minor league side of camp,” as the Nationals put it, even though that barely exists.

Cutting Noll is significant because he could have been considered for the final bench spot to start the year. Instead, after he struggled at the plate this spring, the options look like Jordy Mercer, Hernán Pérez, Yadiel Hernández, Adrián Sanchez, Gerardo Parra or Yasmany Tomás. And that’s only if the Nationals choose a fifth bench player over a ninth reliever to help their arms ease in.

Other than that, the most notable cut was one that didn’t happen. At least not yet.

The Nationals chose to keep Todd Peterson, a 23-year-old righty, for just a bit longer. Peterson was a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2019. In a “B game” against the Houston Astros on Saturday, his fastball was clocked in the high 90s. And while his slider is a work in progress, that velocity piqued the interest of coaches and front office members who watched the short outing.

Every other remaining nonroster invitee has at least a bit of major league experience. That includes veteran pitchers Javy Guerra, Paolo Espino, T.J. McFarland and Aaron Barrett (who underwent right knee surgery at the end of this week); catchers Welington Castillo, Blake Swihart and Brandon Snyder; infielders Mercer, Pérez and Sanchez; and outfielders Parra, Carlos Tocci and Tomás. In that eclectic mix, Peterson stands alone.

“He threw the ball well the other day. We want to see what he looks like again out of the bullpen,” Martinez explained. “Here’s another young guy that we feel like is going to start. So we’ll have to stretch him out here sooner rather than later. But we want to get him some more innings up here.”

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Davey Martinez shared a fun anecdote with reporters over the weekend when he talked about the adjustments Alex Avila is making as the veteran catcher, who signed with the Nationals on a 1-year/$1.5M free agent deal this winter, gets to Wholesale Washington Nationals Jerseys know his new team and works with a range of new pitchers on Washington’s roster.

“Today he caught Wander Suero,” Martinez said.

The hard-throwing, 29-year-old, cutter-heavy (81.6%) reliever apparently surprised Avila with the movement he gets.

“It’s funny. Wander in his warmups he threw a pitch and obviously it was a cutter, and [Avila] dropped the ball and I said, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’

“And he goes, ‘Cutter. I got it now.’

“I said, ‘Hey, be ready, because they all cut.’

“So it was kind of funny.”

Avila, 34, and a veteran of 12 big league seasons, has history with Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, and Jon Lester, but he acknowledged after signing on in D.C. that it would take some time to get to know the entire pitching staff in the nation’s capital.

“That will be part of the challenge going into Spring Training. I only know three of the guys on the staff, as far as Lester, Pat, and Max, so everyone will be a learning experience for me and that starts with video, that starts with conversations with them, conversations with Jim [Hickey] and Davey [Martinez] and Yan [Gomes].

“Yan, I’ll probably rely on the most as far as trying to figure out what makes these pitchers tick, and I think me and him are going to have a really great working relationship.”

His new manager, who was a bench coach in Chicago when Avila played for the Cubs, said that he’s confident the experienced backstop will get up to speed quickly in his new home.

“I really believe that,” he said, in explaining how the shared duties behind the plate with Yan Gomes would work. “I had Alex in Chicago and he does a great job, he really does with the pitchers. He handles everybody really well, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue with him catching anybody, whether it’s left-handed or right-handed, so what I would like to do is — obviously Alex is a left-handed batter, against a righty, if we do need to give Yan a day off he’ll catch that day.

“We’ll figure all this stuff out as we get moving, but it’s nice to have both those guys. They’re both veteran catchers, which I like a lot.

“I know that Alex had Jon Lester over there [in Chicago], he caught Max a lot [in Detroit], so it’s nice that he’s familiar with some of these guys, and he’s getting familiar with all the guys.”

Gomes, who shared catching duties fairly evenly with Kurt Suzuki (now with the Angels) in 2019-20, is expected to get the bulk of the starts, with Avila more of a true backup. Gomes said he is excited about getting to know his former divisional rival in the American League Central better as they work to get ready for the start of the 2021 campaign.

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“It’s actually kind of similar as Kurt,” Gomes explained of the process of getting on the same page with his new partner.

“We played against each other for quite a few years when [Avila] was in Detroit and I was in Cleveland, so we’ve always built that relationship. We’ve known each other for a long time.

“As soon as we signed him I tried to get in contact with him and just kind of get to know him kind of get that little awkward stage of the first week of spring out of the way.

“I feel like we’ve kind of hit it off right away. We knew what our job is supposed to be like, we have a tremendous pitching staff, and I look forward to bouncing ideas off of him.”

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Between the big trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, the qualifying offer pickup on Marcus Stroman, and the free agent signings of James McCann, Trevor May, Jonathan Villar, Aaron Loup and Albert Almora, Steve Cohen added $76 million to the Mets payroll this winter. He would probably like to think that’s enough to guarantee at least some — and hopefully a lot more — extended baseball at Citi Field come October.

And maybe it will — you have to believe the Mets are a much better team — but the reality for Cohen in his rookie season as an owner is that the National League East, in which he has cast his lot, is unquestionably the most competitive division in baseball. Moreover, the three-peat defending champion Braves, who spent $91 million themselves in the free agent market on Charlie Morton, Drew Smyly and Marcell Ozuna, look even more formidable than last year. What if the Mets, who finished nine, 11 and 13 games Custom Washington Nationals Jerseys  respectively behind the front-running Braves the past three seasons, aren’t able to further narrow that gap — a distinct possibility given the Braves’ deep starting rotation and continuing abundance of extremely talented homegrown players (Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Cristian Pache, et al.)?



It’s a wonder, too, if the Nationals, with Juan Soto and Trea Turner, two of the best players in the game, and a likewise deeper-than-the-Mets starting rotation with Stephen Strasburg’s hand fully recovered, aren’t actually better positioned to challenge the Braves for division supremacy? Indeed, if it comes down to starting pitching — as it usually does — which rotation do you like best?

Braves: Ian Anderson, Max Fried, Morton, Mike Soroka (his torn Achilles said to be fully healed) and Smyly?

Nationals: Max Scherzer, Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester and Erick Fedde?

[More Mets] Jacob deGrom goes into second Grapefruit League game guns blazin’, shows he still has untapped velocity »


Mets: Jacob deGrom, Carrasco, Stroman, David Peterson and (hopefully later) Noah Syndergaard?

Can Jacob deGrom and the Mets pull through to see some October baseball this year?
Can Jacob deGrom and the Mets pull through to see some October baseball this year? (John Bazemore/AP)
Here is one scout’s appraisal of the NL East: “There is so much great pitching in this division, far more than any other division in baseball. Even the Marlins, the bottom rung team, have three really good young starters in (Sixto) Sanchez, (Sandy) Alcantara and (Pablo Lopez). I just don’t think they’re going to be as good as they were last year over a full (162-game) season.

“So you start with the Braves, who I love. In Anderson, Fried and Morton, you’ve got three bona fide top-of-the-rotation starters, any one of whom you’d give the ball to in Game 1 of the World Series. Other than the Dodgers, no other team in baseball can say that. The Nationals come closest with Scherzer, a presumably sound Washington Nationals Jerseys China Strasburg and Corbin, a solid 3. But after that, the rotation’s a little uncertain. Jon Lester could be a nice pickup, a veteran presence, but at some point in the season I’m pretty sure you’re going to see their two top prospects, both high end starters (6-8 right hander) Jackson Rutledge and (6-4 righty) Cade Cavalli, who both were light’s out in their reserve camp last summer. They’re the future of the organization.

“As for the Mets, Carrasco was a nice addition but in my mind they still don’t have a legitimate No. 2 behind deGrom. I’m not a big Stroman guy. He has his moments but just not consistently dominant or durable enough for me. And I don’t think they should be counting so much on Syndergaard. It usually takes at least one season of pitching after Tommy John surgery for pitchers to get back to being the same as they were.”

It’s also the starting pitching (or the lack of enough) that figures to separate the Phillies from the other three NL East powers. Despite limited resources, Phillies CEO John Middleton and his new GM Dave Dombrowski managed to do what they had to do to keep the team competitive by re-signing J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius, while making upgrades on the worst bullpen in baseball with the additions of Jose Alvarado and Archie Bradley. But after Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and fast improving Zach Eflin, the Phillies rotation pretty much falls off the cliff, and Dombrowski had neither the money for any of the top free agent starters, or the prospect assets to trade for one.

The cancellation of the July Hall of Fame inductions into a TV-only event with no fans, returning Hall of Famers or media, while unfortunately the right call given the uncertain COVID conditions, is going to be felt far beyond this summer. Bad enough, the Hall and Cooperstown lost the potential record crowds a Derek Jeter induction would have wrought, but with Curt Schilling having likely talked himself out of being elected, and “Big Papi” David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez the two biggest names coming on the 2022 ballot, there’s a real possibility the Baseball Writers Association won’t elect anyone again next year. A major motivating factor for the Hall of Fame cancelling the live ceremony was the fact that 10 Hall of Famers passed away this year and the board did not want to risk the health of the Hall of Famers by asking them to return this year. I’m told plans are in the works to have as many of them as possible salute the new inductees, Jeter, Larry Walker and Ted Simmons by Zoom. … The “new and improved” 120-club minor league system has been completed and if nothing else will be far more geographically balanced — with Triple-A split into two leagues, one of them comprised of 20 teams of three divisions in the northeast, Cheap Washington Nationals Jerseys China midwest and southeast respectively, and the other a 10-team league of western cities. I’m told the Triple-A seasons will begin the same time as the major leagues’, but because of the COVID limitations on the number of players in spring training, the lower leagues probably won’t start up play until May. No telling yet how many lawsuits will be filed by the 40 teams that lost their affiliations and had their equity reduced from millions to zero. … The Red Sox’s trade of Andrew Benintendi to the Royals is one of the more curious deals of recent times if only because of all the questions it’s raised about a guy who, only three years ago, was being viewed as a budding superstar and was one of the most popular players in Boston. But after hitting .271 with 20 HR, 20 stolen bases and 90 RBI and finishing second in the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year voting, Benintendi hit .290 in 2018 and then went into a dramatic decline. The whispers around the Red Sox were that he bulked up too much and lost a lot of his athleticism and speed. But he’s still only 26 and the jury will remain out for Boston GM Chaim Bloom on this deal until we see how the (still unnamed) prospects he received in the deal turn out. Certainly the primary return player from K.C., outfielder Franchy Cordero, a typical (by today’s standards) swing-and-miss (110 career strikeouts as opposed to 95 combined hits and walks) hitter does not seem nearly adequate for a player of Benintendi’s still untapped potential.