As I posted on Twitter earlier this morning, the Nationals let eight players go this morning in their first round of cuts. They released starter Shawn Estes and reliever Eddie Guardado. In addition, they assigned the following players to minor-league camp: relievers Logan Kensing, Joel Peralta, Victor Garate and Ryan Speier, catcher Derek Norris and outfielder Jerry Owens.
The Guardado cut is the most noticeable, if not particularly surprising. The former All-Star was brought in as a possible lefty specialist, but Guardado, who turns 40 in October, had an 18.00 ERA in two games this spring.
"We respect everything Eddie's done in the game," manager Jim Riggleman said. "But the more we looked at it, we just felt that we may not carry two left-handers in the bullpen, assuming (Sean) Burnett is one guy who we will carry. We may not carry two, and if we did carry two, there's a couple other guys who we want to watch the remainder of spring training in that role, to maybe bring them in in some spring training games to see how they react to a left-hander. We just felt if Eddie's got a chance to get into another camp, better to do it now than later."
The cuts bring the Nationals' spring roster down to 53 players, and should make it easier for the team's pitchers to get enough work.