VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals made their first round of roster cuts this morning, reassigning starters Matt Chico and Shairon Martis and reliever Joe Bisenius to minor league camp.
All three pitchers have pitched in the majors for the Nationals in the last two years; Chico and Bisenius did so last year. If you wanted to, you could take that as a sign the team's depth is improving.
"All three of those guys have had some level of success," manager Jim Riggleman said. "In trying to get the guys ready who we realistically think are going to be on the club, we've just got to start paring it down a little bit. (Pitching coach) Steve McCatty's doing his scheduling for the next 10 days, and he's just not seeing any innings where he can commit to those guys. So we've got to let them go over to the other side and let them get stretched out a little bit."
Riggleman said it will be a few days before the Nationals make any cuts among their position players. "We're only four games into this," he said. "We'll probably be about 12 or 15 games into it before we really start putting the lineup out there together where we feel like we're eventually going with it."
With the cuts, the Nationals are down to 58 players in major league camp.