Nats option Kobernus and Leon, roster now at 26

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A few hours following this afternoon's loss to the Cardinals, the Nationals' second-to-last Grapefruit League game of spring, the Nats trimmed their roster down to 26 active players by optioning infielder/outfielder Jeff Kobernus to Triple-A Syracuse and catcher Sandy Leon to Double-A Harrisburg.

Both guys had been mentioned yesterday by manager Matt Williams as candidates to make the team's opening day roster, but today's signing of infielder Kevin Frandsen finalized the Nats bench and left no room for Kobernus or Leon.

Kobernus hit .217 with a triple and two RBIs in 37 at-bats this spring. Leon appeared in 12 games, but got just 19 at-bats, going 3-for-19 (.158) with a homer and three RBIs.

These moves now mean that all position players left in big league camp will make the Nats' opening day roster, barring any surprising late roster moves.

Some fans had questioned whether Scott Hairston was in danger of losing his spot on the bench. Wonder no more. The veteran outfielder has made the team.

The only roster decision the Nats still have to make is who will get the final spot in their rotation, Tanner Roark or Taylor Jordan.

As I mentioned earlier, both guys will pitch in Saturday's exhibition game against the Tigers at Nationals Park, with Roark probably getting the start in that game.

Williams said that he will announce his final starter following the exhibition. Either Roark or Jordan will end up in the big league rotation, and the other will head to Triple-A Syracuse to begin the season.

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