VIERA, Fla. - We're reaching the point of the spring where one end of the Nationals' clubhouse - the one that holds minor leaguers with only a slim chance of making the team - is starting to look sparse. The team sent a few position players to the minors this morning, and a handful of pitchers were making the walk to manager Jim Riggleman's office when I was in the clubhouse a few minutes ago.
Here are the cuts so far today: catchers Carlos Maldonado and Jhonatan Solano, infielders Michael Aubrey and Kevin Barker, and outfielder Jonathan Van Every. It also looked like pitchers Adam Carr and Josh Wilkie will be heading over to the team's minor league camp.
We should get the full list of cuts a little later this afternoon.
UPDATE AT 1:16 P.M.: A few more cuts, confirmed by the Nationals: Outfielder Jeff Frazier, who's been having a nice camp, is also headed to minor league camp. He, Barker, Maldonado and Aubrey were all reassigned to Syracuse. The team reassigned pitchers J.D. Martin and Luis Atilano to Triple-A Syracuse. And lastly, they optioned right-hander Garrett Mock - who made the rotation out of spring training last year - to Syracuse.
We've talked a lot about Mock this spring, as he continues to struggle to capitalize on his impressive stuff. It's why he keeps getting chances, but it's also why some Nationals officials get so frustrated with him. He went from making the rotation last year to being included in the first round of cuts amongst players on the 40-man roster. And this will burn his final minor league option. He's going to be 28 in April, and his chances to make it with the Nationals are now officially running out.
Additionally, the Nationals released Cla Meredith, the right-handed sidearm reliever they signed this winter. Meredith, who had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in the offseason, cut short a couple of bullpen sessions early this spring and found out he needed Tommy John surgery. The Nationals will have to pay for his rehab work, but he's no longer a part of the organization.
The roster now stands at 46 players. I'll have more reaction from manager Jim Riggleman on the cuts later.