WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Mike Rizzo insisted all along Victor Robles would play every day in 2018, wherever that may be. We found out today where the Nationals’ top prospect will be playing every day to begin the season: Triple-A Syracuse.
The Nationals optioned Robles to Triple-A this afternoon, a not-terribly-unsurprising move but one that did come well before the club makes its final round of cuts before it breaks camp and heads north Sunday evening.
Left-hander Isamel Guillón also was cut today, reassigned to minor league camp after allowing five runs in 2 2/3 innings in Grapefruit League play. The moves leave the Nationals with 43 players in big league camp, though that list includes Joe Ross, Koda Glover and Daniel Murphy, who are all expected to open the season on the disabled list.
Robles was among the most closely watched players on the roster this spring, with observers both inside and outside the organization curious to see how close the 20-year-old looked to being ready for full-time major league duty.
Robles, who did make his major league debut in September and even made the postseason roster, got off to a strong start this spring, but had cooled off considerably in the last two weeks. His batting average is now down to .188, with one homer, six RBIs, 12 strikeouts and only one walk in 51 plate appearances.
The organization has been perfectly happy with the outfielder’s development, but maintained all along his only chance of making the opening day roster was if he was an everyday starter. Once Adam Eaton and Michael A. Taylor returned over the weekend from injuries and proved they were healthy, Robles no longer had an opening to make the daily lineup.
This will be Robles’ first appearance at the Triple-A level. He was promoted to the big leagues straight from Double-A Harrisburg last fall.