The Washington Nationals announced a series of roster moves as spring training nears its halfway point. The team optioned one 40-man player, Joan Adon, to Triple-A while assigning 15 other players to Minor League camp.
Optioned to Triple-A
RHP Joan Adon
Adon, 24, entered the Washington Nationals organization in 2016 as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Adon played with the Dominican Summer League Nationals in 2017. The righty spent the 2019 season pitching for the Hagerstown Suns, achieving an 11-3 record with 90 strikeouts over 105 innings, combining for a 3.86 ERA. The Nationals signed Adon to the 60-man COVID-expanded roster in 2020. However, it wasn’t until the 2021 season that the Nationals named Adon to the 40-man roster. At the end of the 2021 season, Adon was promoted to the Nationals’ active roster as he made his MLB debut against the Boston Red Sox. During his debut, he pitched with promise, striking out nine players. But once there was a scouting report on Adon, batters took advantage of his fastball.
After 2021, it went downhill for the pitcher. He started the season with a spot in the big league rotation but didn’t produce good results. In June, Adon was optioned to Triple-A Rochester. Adon returned to the major leagues on June 17 but sent right back to Triple-A the following day.
Re-assigned to minor league camp
Baldonado, 30, signed a minor league contract with the Nationals before the 2020 season. The southpaw played in the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs organizations before signing with the Nationals. Unfortunately, Baldonado couldn’t showcase his skills with the Nationals in 2020 because the Minor League season was canceled due to the COVID-19. Baldonadao was released by Washington on May 29, 2020, before re-signing to the team in 2021.
He started his 2021 campaign with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators before being promoted to Triple-A. His success continued, and he was selected to play in the big leagues in early September. He made his Major League debut against the Phillies and finished his rookie year with an 8.44 ERA with 12 strikeouts, playing in 14 major league games. He was was DFA’d by the Nats and has remained in their minor league system. In 2023, Baldonado was selected to join team Panama for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
RHP Gerardo Carrillo
Carillo, 24, was part of the trade exchange for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer. Carillo was joined by Josiah Gray, Donovan Casey, and Keibert Ruiz to come to Washington. Although Carillo was DFA’d on December 20, 2022, he cleared waivers and remained with the team. He has a careeer 19-20 record with a 4.18 ERA in 94 games in the minor leagues. The international free agent has 304 strikeouts in 314 innings pitched.
LHP Evan Lee
Lee, 25, was drafted by the Nationals in the 15th round of the 2018 MLB draft. Although Lee was seen as a two-way player in college, he was selected as an LHP. Lee participated in the Arizona Fall League in 2021 and was used primarily as a relief pitcher. The Nationals signed him to their active roster after the 2021 season concluded. Lee made his Major League debut in June of 2022 and made four more starts with the team before suffering an injury and being placed on the injured list. However, he was designated for assignment after the 2022 season and wasn’t claimed by another team, and has stayed with the Nats as a minor leaguer.
LHP Francisco Perez
Perez, 25, was claimed by the Washington Nationals during the 2021 offseason, but his contract was expiring, and the Nationals re-signed Perez to a minor league deal on January 4, 2023. Perez has pitched with the Cleveland Guardians organization since 2016. After spending time developing in the minors in Cleveland, he was promoted to the Major Leagues during the summer of 2021 and debuted on August 12, 2021. The lefty ended his rookie year with a 4.05 ERA, playing four games. During his 2022 campaign, Perez pitched in 10 games with a 7.27 ERA and seven strikeouts in eight innings pitched. He was also a DFA who remained in the Nats system.
RHP Tommy Romero
Romero, 25, was selected off waivers by the Nationals in August of 2022. Shortly after, he was optioned to Triple-A-Rochester.The Nationals DFA’d Romero after the season ended. However, the Nationals kept the pitcher around and re-signed him to a minor league deal in December 2022.Romero spent time with the Mariners and Rays organizations. The Eastern Florida State product made his Major League debut on April 12, 2022.
Lindsly, 25, was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 4th round of the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft. Lindsly played with the Harrisburg Senators last season, playing in 66 games with 242 plate appearances. The catcher tallied 42 hits, and 22 RBIs, hitting .190/.256/.308/.564. In college at the University of Oklahoma, Lindsly was Cade Cavalli’s catcher.
INF Lucius Fox
Fox, 25, joined the Nationals during the 2021 offseason when he was claimed off waivers. Fox performed well during spring training and made the opening-day roster for the first time in his career. The corner infielder made his debut on April 10. Although Fox didn’t record his first MLB hit until May, he helped the Nationals win games with his bunting ability and speed. However, Fox was optioned to Triple-A on May 3 and was eventually DFA’d after the season ended. Fox is expected to play for Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic this year.
INF Erick Mejia
Mejia, 28, started his major league career in Seattle in 2012 and played with the Mariners until 2015. He then played with the Dodgers and Royals before joining the Mariners again on a minor-league contract. Mejia decided to elect free agency after the 2022 season, and he later joined the Washington Nationals on a minor league deal.
OF Yasel Antuna
Antuna, 23, joined the Nationals in 2017 as a shortstop but was shortly moved to the outfield. Antuna had difficulty playing shortstop in 2021, as he recorded 36 errors in high-Class A Wilmington. Washington added him to the roster last season, protecting him from entering the Rule 5 draft but DFA’d him when they needed a roster spot. The Nationals like what they see in Antuna and hoped he would develop into a top-tier prospect and, eventually, hope he becomes a starting outfielder. Time will tell, but time is running out on Antuna.
Casey, 27, was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 20th round of the 2018 MLB draft. Seen as a toolsy prospect with a cannon arm, Casey impressed enough that he was part of the return when the Nationals traded Trea Turner and Max Scherzer to the Dodgers. Later the Nationals selected him to play in the Arizona Fall League in 2021, and after the 2021 season concluded, the Nationals added him to the 40-man roster. The club called up Casey on April 15 of the 2022 season, but he didn’t debut, and was optioned a couple of days later back to Triple-A. Later, he was DFA’d from the 40-man roster on August 9. Casey has tools, but his contact rates have fallen, and if an outfielder can’t hit, making the roster again could be an uphill climb.
Tetreault, 26, was drafted by the Nationals in the seventh round in the 2017 MLB draft. Teteault played in the Gulf Coast League for the Nationals during the 2017 season and then for Class-A Hagerstown Suns and Class-A-Advanced Potomac Nationals in 2018. MLB Pipeline ranked him the 27th-best prospect in the Nationals organization before the 2019 season, and he was promoted to Class-AA Harrisburg. The righty made his way to Rochester by the end of the season and eventually got called up to the Major Leagues on June 14, 2022. He suffered a stress fracture of his right scapula that healed, and pushed back Tetreault’s offseason. He is throwing and working up his stamina.
RHP Anthony Castro
Castro, 27, began his Major League career with the Detroit Tigers when he signed as an international free agent in 2011. Castro was promoted to the Tigers 40-man after the 2019 season and made his MLB debut in 2020. During the 2021 offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays claimed Castro but shortly after was DFA’d. Castro was later traded to the Guardians, where he didn’t spend much time. Finally, the Orioles claimed Castro on September 3, 2022. The Nationals signed Castro last December.
OF Derek Hill
Hill, 27, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft. He spent the next five years developing under the Tigers and was called up after the 2019 season. Hill made his MLB debut in September 2020 and finished the season with Detriot. During the 2021 season, Hill hit three home runs, slashing .259/.313/.388/.702 in 49 games. Later in the year, Hill was DFA’d, but the Mariners claimed the righty. After the season, Hill elected free agency. However, the Nationals signed Hill to a minor league contract in November. Injuries started to pile up in Hill’s career before he joined the Nats’ organization, and he started the 2022 season on the injured list. Unfortunately last week Hill suffered a non-contact hamstring injury just running to first base. He could start the season on the minor league injured list.
RHP Zach Brzykcy
Brzycky, 23, is climbing quickly after a solid season in which he climbed three levels in the minors and finished in Triple-A Rochester. The Nationals signed the right-handed pitcher in 2020 as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech. During his first season in the Nationals’ system, he recorded a 5.20 ERA with 86 strikeouts. However, walks started to pile up for the pitcher as he averaged 3.6 BB/9. Zach tallied 95 strikeouts in 61.1 innings, yielding a 1.76 ERA last year over his three levels. Brzycky cracked the Nationals’ top-30 prospect list and continues to impress coaches. Unfortunately two weeks ago, Brzycky was shutdown with a forearm strain. That ruined any chance he had on making the Opening Day roster.