VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals sent four more players over to minor league camp this morning, according to a team source: infielders Anthony Rendon and Matt Skole, right-hander Nathan Karns and left-hander Pat McCoy.
Update: In addition to the four players listed above, infielder Will Rhymes, catcher Sandy Leon and outfielder Eury Perez have also been sent to minor league camp, manager Davey Johnson announced.
Rendon, Karns and Leon were optioned to Double-A Harrisburg, Perez was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, and Skole, Rhymes and McCoy were reassigned.
With the cuts, the Nationals officially have 42 players left in big league camp.
The Nationals' top prospect, Rendon made the most of his time in big league camp, batting .375 in 13 games with four home runs, four doubles and 11 RBIs. The 22-year-old posted an on-base percentage of .412 and slugged .875.
The kid has a decent future, I guess.
Rendon appeared in just 43 games last season because of a broken ankle, and the Nationals want to give him more games at the minor league level before considering a promotion to the big leagues. Rendon clearly has the talent to play at this level, just not the experience.
Skole was getting his first time in a big league camp this spring after being named the organization's 2012 minor league Player of the Year. He batted .250 (6-for-24) with two doubles, five RBIs and seven walks this spring.
The 23-year-old spent much of last season at low Single-A Hagerstown, but ended the season having played 18 games at high Single-A Potomac.
Karns has been held out for nearly a week after feeling some tightness in his right leg during his last two outings.
The Nats' 2012 minor league Pitcher of the Year pitched two scoreless innings against the Mets in his first appearance this spring, striking out three. Over his last two outings, he allowed seven runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and a strikeout over 1 2/3 innings.
Karns finished last season at Single-A Potomac, going 8-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 13 starts at that level.
McCoy pitched to a 9.00 ERA over five spring appearances, allowing 11 hits and three walks over six innings, with two strikeouts.
The 24-year-old left-hander went 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 relief appearances for Double-A Harrisburg last season.
Rhymes batted .318 (9-for-29) with one RBI, Leon hit .154 (2-for-13) with an RBI and Perez batted .348 (8-for-23) before leaving to join the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
Here are the lineups for this afternoon:
For the Nats
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
DH Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
3B Steve Lombardozzi
P Chris Young
For the Astros
SS Marwin Gonzalez
1B Brett Wallace
LF Chris Carter
DH Carlos Pena
CF Justin Maxwell
RF Rick Ankiel
C Jason Castro
3B Matt Dominguez
2B Jake Elmore
P Alex White