Speaking to a handful of journalists in the DMV region, Nationals director Davey Martinez said he expects Carter Kieboom being the third starting base player, Mark Zuckerman of MASN, and Todd Dybas of NBC Sports were among those who reported. It’s kind of a surprising revelation from Martinez, like the last time we heard it, Kieboom wasn’t even sure to be part of the opening day. At the same time, most projections have resulted in the 22-year-old doing his share of the hot spot in August, so little could have changed in terms of organizational outlook. Learn more about this and the other activities around Nats camp …
- A change that could affected the Nats’ plan for Kieboom, however, was Ryan Zimmerman withdraw for the season. Without Zimmerman, there seem to be a lot of bats to bypass the rest of the national championship veteran contingent. The first base should fall into a strict platoon between Howie Kendrick and Eric Thames, while the first baseman outside the day is also likely to share his time at DH with Asdrubal Cabrera. Starlin Castro, then, would manage the second base relatively full time while sometimes being spelled by Cabrera or Kendrick. The Nationals tend to let their prospects play full time, so if Kieboom keeps the starting role until opening day, he’ll likely get the full list of 60 games more or less to prove he deserves it.
- Updating some numbers for us, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post mentions that the Nationals have about 49-50 guys in the camp right now of the 58 currently named to the player pool. That said, the Nats should largely add a first-round pick Horse falls to their pool of 60 players shortly, by Nats Talk. The Nats have a few places open on their roster now that a number of players have retired from the season (Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross, Welington Castle).
- As the addition of Cavalli presupposes, the Nats have chosen to include most of the organization’s most reputable prospects in the pool of 60 players. This group would have included Mason Denaburg, was he not absent for the recovery season after an off-season operation, according to Stephen G. Mears of Nats Talk. The former 6’4 ″ wide receiver ranks eighth on the Nats’ best prospects list by Baseball America. He was the Nats’ best pick in 2018, although he has only managed 20 1/3 of pro ball innings since then.