The Nationals made a slew of unsurprising moves Thursday.
Paramount among them was sending Erick Fedde to Triple-A Fresno. Fedde's trip back to the minor leagues is not a surprise and is the result of a numbers game as much as a performance indictment. Fedde had options remaining. Joe Ross and Austin Voth do not.
The move leaves the fifth starter spot -- should the season begin -- between Ross and Voth. One will end up a starter, the other a long man in the bullpen. But, Fedde should have opportunity, too, if Major League Baseball plays a truncated season with added doubleheaders. More and more starting pitching will be necessary.
Catcher Tres Barrera was also sent to Fresno. The Nationals like Barrera's defense and smarts. He's 25 years old and spent last season with Double-A Harrisburg.
Utility infielder Adrian Sanchez was sent to Harrisburg. That's to keep him nearby and helps Wilmer Difo's chances of making the 26-man roster.
Outfielder Andrew Stevenson was also sent to Harrisburg. Michael A. Taylor is the fourth outfielder behind Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Adam Eaton. Davey Martinez did consider keeping Stevenson on the initial roster to have another left-handed bat on the bench.
Baseball's current stagnation makes nothing final about these roster moves. But, the Nationals are able to form some roster identity during the process.
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Pitcher Erick Fedde among those sent to the minors by Nationals originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington