Who the heck is that guy? #Nats 2024 spring training field guide, hitting edition

Photo by Clint Often for TalkNat

Grapefruit League play gets underway on February 24 for the Washington Nationals. But most of their position players have already reported to camp.

The Nats have their work cut out for them in 2024. The front office chose not to give out any multiyear deals this winter, going for cheap, short-term additions where they bothered to add at all onto last year’s 71-win team. It seems clear that if the Nats are to build on their 2023 showing, the improvement will come from top prospects like James Wood, Dylan Crews, and Brady House stepping up and making an impact in the major leagues. If they stumble, the Nats fall.

Alongside Wood, Crews, and House, the Nats have a mixture of non-roster invitees from further down the prospect charts and outside the organization in camp. They also welcome new players in Joey Gallo and Nick Senzel, two of just three free agents signed this past winter to a major league contract in Washington.

Here’s your guide to the new faces in camp this year on the position player side.

#3 – Dylan Crews (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .292/.377/.467, .845 OPS, 23.9% K, 12.6% BB+HBP, 3.1% HR

The Nats were sitting pretty last year with the No. 2 overall draft pick and two consensus top prospects, both out of LSU. The Pittsburgh Pirates had priority and selected pitcher Paul Skenes. That left the Nats to take outfielder Dylan Crews, who was actually ranked above Skenes by most evaluators. Time will tell who got the best of the draft (and outfielder Wyatt Langford, a close “third seed” in the draft, will have his due as well), but the Nats have to be pleased with how Crews performed in his organizational debut.

Crews is the only player in major league camp this year with less than a year in pro ball under his belt. He had some struggles last year after he was quickly promoted to Double-A Harrisburg, but he hit the ball hard and took his free passes. He’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts a bit and improve on that .278 BABIP to find real success at the higher levels of competition. His overall season numbers were very good.

It’s remarkable that Crews actually has a puncher’s chance of making the team, probably not on Opening Day but sometime this season, maybe even before the All-Star Break. He’s one of the few genuine attractions in camp this year, after a very sleepy offseason for the Nats. It won’t be too surprising if and when the Nats reassign him to minor league camp after a week or two of Grapefruit League play, but hopefully we’ll get to see him get into a few games before then.

#6 – Jesse Winker (NRI)

2023 stats (MLB): .199/.320/.247, .567 OPS, 25.9% K, 15.2% BB+HBP, 0.5% HR
2023 stats (minors): .301/.463/.494, .957 OPS, 13.9% K, 23.1% BB+HBP, 3.7% HR
Career stats (MLB): .264/.369/.444, .813 OPS, 17.9% K, 14.3% BB+HBP, 3.6% HR

An All-Star in 2021 with very strong career numbers, Winker has fallen off hard since leaving the Cincinnati Reds at the end of that season. He was roughly a league-average hitter with the Seattle Mariners in 2022, adjusting for the Boeing hangar in which that team plays its home games, before sliding further with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2023, when he reportedly dealt with a host of injuries. The Nats doubtless signed Winker for the numbers on the back of his baseball card rather than his recent (lack of) production, and at 30, Winker could and hopefully will return to form now that he’s wearing a red ballcap again.

Where the lefty-swinging Winker fits into the roster picture is a little uncertain. The Nats are loaded for bear in the outfield, with the likes of Víctor Robles, Alex Call, Jacob Young, Travis Blankenhorn, Darren Baker, and Stone Garrett already vying for the right to join presumptive corner outfielders Joey Gallo and Lane Thomas in the everyday lineup. Unlike Robles, Call, Young, and Baker, Winker isn’t a center fielder; he has never been regarded as a particularly good defender; and he spent most of his time with the Brewers as their DH. However, Garrett — who figures to be his main competition — is coming off a major leg injury that ended his 2023 campaign, and while the Nats say he’s full speed ahead for spring training, well, we’ve heard that song before.

Winker probably has the best shot of any non-roster position player to make the team out of spring training, but first, he’ll need to show the Nats some indication that he isn’t the guy he was at the major league level in 2023. And beyond that, the Nats will have to consider what they want their bench to look like. Ildemaro Vargas, Nasim Nuñez, and Riley Adams’ names can all but be written in Sharpie for three of the four bench spots; the last spot ought to be contested between Robles, Young, Call, and maybe Baker, who can play all three outfield spots; the DH position is likely Garrett’s to lose. Perhaps the Nats decide they’re comfortable without a true backup center fielder, figuring Thomas, Gallo, or Nick Senzel can slide over in an emergency, and they go with Winker over all of the losers of the center field competition. Or maybe Winker even beats out Garrett, Carter Kieboom, and the rest for the full-time DH role. It’s unclear if and when Winker can opt out of his contract if the Nats don’t promote him, but he could be the next man up if he doesn’t make the team this spring.

#10 – Darren Baker (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .284/.350/.349, .698 OPS, 16.5% K, 9.2% BB+HBP, 0.6% HR
Career stats (minors): .287/.349/.361, .710 OPS, 16.5% K, 8.8% BB+HBP, 0.6% HR

The Nats seem to really like Darren Baker, son of their former manager Dusty Baker Jr., but evaluators haven’t really bought in. It’s easier to see the evaluators’ side here. Baker has a fairly high floor as a speedy, contact-oriented (some would say slap) hitter who can play second base and center field. But he has little to no power — his memorable game-tying grand slam against the Houston Astros last spring training aside — and his arm isn’t strong enough to fit in right field or on the left side of the infield.

Baker, who just turned 25, flashed potential last year at Triple-A Rochester. But he faded after an injury, returning from a rehab assignment in July and slashing a decidedly unimpressive .234/.561 the rest of the way. It’s possible Baker didn’t fully bounce back physically from whatever ailed him, and the offseason could have done him some good. We’ll see what he looks like this spring.

While Baker is a long shot to make the team, it can’t be totally ruled out. The Nats are publicly high on Baker, and that vocal confidence seems to be borne out with his invitation to camp in a spring in which the Nats seem unusually stingy with their non-roster invites. He plays a couple of positions that aren’t entirely solidified on the roster. While he doesn’t figure to be a major threat to Luis García Jr. at second base and would have to force his way into the Víctor Robles vs. Jacob Young competition in center field, that versatility could favor him for a bench role (although that’s a crowded picture; see above). More likely, he returns to Triple-A Rochester, hopefully with some earned confidence from a strong spring training, and figures as high-level injury depth. It would not be a surprise at all to see him in Washington at some point this season.

#13 – Nick Senzel

2023 stats (MLB): .236/.297/.399, .696 OPS, 22.4% K, 8.1% BB+HBP, 3.9% HR
Career stats (MLB): .239/.302/.369, .671 OPS, 20.6% K, 8.3% BB+HBP, 2.4% HR

The Nats entered the offseason in need of an everyday-caliber third baseman. Instead, they signed Nick Senzel. A former top prospect in baseball, much like Carter Kieboom, Senzel really hasn’t panned out as a big leaguer, much like Carter Kieboom.

Now, it must be said Senzel’s overall numbers (while not good) are substantially better than Kieboom’s, and he capped his five-year run with the Cincinnati Reds last season with one of the best months of his career, slashing .333/.903 from September 1 onward. But Senzel hasn’t even approached league average as a hitter in any season (recall as well the Reds play their home games in a Little League ballpark), and he was only converted to third base this past season, with lackluster results in the field.

Senzel’s roster position is likely secure. He received a major league guarantee, and the Nats publicly endorsed him as their everyday third baseman in 2024. That leaves Kieboom on the outside looking in; out of options, the Nats’ former top prospect may be making his last stand this spring. It’s theoretically possible Senzel faceplants in spring and Kieboom crushes it, to the point where the Nats have to consider Kieboom, but in all likelihood, Senzel is the third baseman until Brady House rips the job from his hands.

#18 – Juan Yepez (NRI)

2023 stats (MLB): .183/.246/.300, .546 OPS, 30.8% K, 7.7% BB+HBP, 3.1% HR
2023 stats (minors): .255/.323/.413, .736 OPS, 19% K, 9.6% BB+HBP, 2.3% HR
Career stats (MLB): .240/.286/.419, .705 OPS, 23.9% K, 6.5% BB+HBP, 4.1% HR

The Nats have the righty-swinging Yepez, 26 on Monday, in camp on a minor league deal after he was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals this past winter. A pop-up prospect who turned heads with a breakout season in the minor leagues in 2021, when he slashed .286/.969 with 27 home runs across Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, Yepez made his major league debut the following season and performed respectably, with a .253/.742 batting line and twelve home runs over 76 games.

So, why was Yepez available this winter? On a minors deal, no less? Well, he fell off pretty hard in 2023, as the numbers show. And the metrics don’t suggest he was merely unlucky. His average exit velocity cratered to an appalling 80 mph. His hard-hit rate plunged to 25%. His strikeout rate spiked above 30%. But — that’s only measuring off a sample size of 65 plate appearances in the major leagues. And while he wasn’t great at Triple-A Memphis, he wasn’t awful, either, with a much more acceptable strikeout rate but reduced power.

Yepez is a long shot to make the roster as constructed, but he provides a right-handed backup behind Stone Garrett as he works back from injury; he’s still relatively young; and while he’s basically a pure DH, he at least brings some experience in the corner outfield spots and at first base in case of emergency. None of those things really work in his favor to push his way onto a healthy roster, but injuries are a fact of life in sports, and he’s acceptable injury insurance.

#23 – Nasim Nuñez

2023 stats (minors): .225/.341/.286, .627 OPS, 18.3% K, 15.2% BB+HBP, 0.9% HR
Career stats (minors): .233/.358/.286, .644 OPS, 21.4% K, 16.4% BB+HBP, 0.4% HR

Many people in the Nats blogosphere expected the Nats to snag a prospect from the Miami Marlins in the Rule 5 draft. But the hot name heading into the event was Troy Johnston, a power/speed guy who was old for level but had a .948 OPS in the high minors. The Nats did take a prospect from the Marlins, but they went in the opposite direction with Nuñez, a 23-year-old burner whose bat has yet to materialize in the minor leagues.

Nuñez has never played above Double-A, and his career batting numbers leave a heck of a lot to be desired. But there’s some reason for optimism that he’ll stick with the Nats, if only in a rarely-used bench role. Nuñez hasn’t hit much, but he’s shown tremendous plate discipline, walking 43 times (against 52 strikeouts) at Double-A Pensacola last year. He’s also incredibly fast, swiping 52 bases (caught seven times, for a success rate of 88%) last season. He plays second base and shortstop and has the defensive skillset we’ve seen the Nats try out in center field in the past, which gives him some utility at key up-the-middle positions. If the Nats think there’s another gear to Nuñez with the bat, he could end up being a real find.

The Nats will likely carry Nuñez on the Opening Day roster, and his performance and their needs will dictate how things play out from there. They likely plan to keep Nuñez on the roster all season if they can, as they would have to offer him back to the Marlins if they cut him at any point. The Nats were able to hold onto Thaddeus Ward last year to win full control of his player rights. Let’s see if they can go 2-for-2.

#24 – Joey Gallo

2023 stats (MLB): .177/.301/.440, .741 OPS, 42.8% K, 15.1% BB+HBP, 6.4% HR
Career stats (MLB): .197/.323/.466, .789 OPS, 37.9% K, 15.7% BB+HBP, 6.3% HR

The Nats were near the bottom of the MLB leaderboard last year in home runs and walks. So, they went out this winter and signed a guy who hits home runs and takes walks. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all Joey Gallo does — he’s recorded more walks than he has hits since the start of the 2021 season, in fact — as he’s been severely contact-challenged over his career and especially over the past three seasons.

It’s been a difficult offseason. The Nats entered the offseason with three top priorities: sign an everyday third baseman (they punted and signed Nick Senzel instead), sign a solid starting pitcher (the best they’ve done is Zach Davies on a minors deal), and sign a good, preferably left-handed middle-of-the-order hitter…which brings us to Gallo. If you’re only looking at the aggregate-ist of aggregate numbers, OPS+ and wRC+, he was fine last year — essentially league average. Of course, the full triple slash tells a less appealing story, as Gallo’s extremely low batting average in 2023 dragged his career average under the Mendoza line. And breaking down his season, it’s plain to see Gallo was white-hot to start the year, slashing .236/1.063 with seven home runs through April 30; then he slumped the rest of the way, slashing .163/.663 from May on and whiffing in a mindboggling 45% of his plate appearances. The aggregate was an average season, but in truth, Gallo had a month in which he was one of the best hitters in MLB, then he was essentially who he was in 2022 (.160/.638 that season) the rest of the way.

Gallo will play every day, probably getting most of his starts in left field; he plays first base as well but is better regarded as an outfielder, sort of the inverse of Joey Meneses. The Nats will hope he catches fire for at least a little while in the first half, the better for them to flip Gallo (who has been traded at the deadline in two of the last three seasons) for a prospect or two. It’s unlikely he’ll put up a lot of resistance to prospects James Wood or Dylan Crews pushing their way into the major leagues. The upshot is Nats fans will probably get to see a few massive home runs along the way. We’ll just have to suffer through a whole lot of strikeouts, too.

#33 – Travis Blankenhorn (NRI)

2023 stats (MLB): .161/.297/.258, .555 OPS, 16.2% K, 16.2% BB+HBP, 2.7% HR
2023 stats (minors): .262/.360/.517, .877 OPS, 24.2% K, 13.4% BB+HBP, 5.1% HR
Career stats (MLB): .167/.265/.317, .581 OPS, 22.1% K, 10.3% BB+HBP, 2.9% HR
Career stats (minors): .258/.335/.450, .784 OPS, 24% K, 10.4% BB+HBP, 3.5% HR

It’s fair to say Blankenhorn earned his surprise September call-up last year after rosters expanded. He homered in his first plate appearance as a National, and he reached base at least once in all but three of his ten major league games before he got hurt. The overall numbers were not good, but he made a solid first impression and didn’t really have enough of a chance to show us who he really is. The Nats cut him early in the offseason but then brought him back on a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The burly 27-year-old has played all over the diamond, with time in the minor leagues at every position except catcher, center fielder, and pitcher. The overall picture here seems to be a classic Quadruple-A player, but he only has had 68 plate appearances at the major league level, so there’s a chance he ends up being a late bloomer.

Blankenhorn does bring a left-handed bat and some utility as the Nats consider options for their bench this spring. He’s not a frontrunner to make the team by any means, and he’ll probably end up reporting back to Triple-A Rochester again to serve as injury depth. But the Nats clearly like Blankenhorn, and he could be the classic guy this spring who appears in just about every Grapefruit League game before the Nats make their final cuts. He certainly has the positional versatility for it.

#34 – Lewin Díaz (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .268/.362/.442, .804 OPS, 19.7% K, 13.3% BB+HBP, 3.5% HR
Career stats (MLB): .181/.227/.340, .567 OPS, 28.9% K, 5.8% BB+HBP, 3.8% HR

The Miami Marlins of the early ’20s had a bunch of young players, many of them from their Latin American program, who looked like they were on the cusp of developing into a solid core. Díaz was one of those players. But the Dominican first baseman is now 27 years old; he spent the 2023 season languishing in the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league system; and his bat hasn’t turned into anything like what the Marlins hoped it would. C’est la vie. Díaz was quite available on a minor league deal this winter, and the Nats, perhaps recalling his four home runs against Washington (his most against any single opponent at the major league level) in just thirteen career games, signed him up.

Díaz hits from the left side, but that’s about all he brings to the table for the Nats this spring. He’s a decent first baseman, but that’s the only position he plays. His career numbers are crummy. He had a pretty good year at Triple-A Norfolk last year, bashing seventeen home runs, but he’s already proven he can tag Triple-A pitching; he just hasn’t done anything consequential over 343 major league plate appearances.

Díaz is nominally in the conversation this spring for a DH role, but he likely starts out behind the likes of Jesse Winker and Juan Yepez in that contest, to say nothing of internal candidate Stone Garrett. It would be a nice story if he can finally put it all together and fulfill some of that old potential, but the odds of that are rapidly falling.

#38 – Trey Lipscomb (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .272/.311/.419, .730 OPS, 18.8% K, 5.7% BB+HBP, 2.6% HR
Career stats (minors): .276/.313/.415, .728 OPS, 18.8% K, 5.4% BB+HBP, 2.3% HR

The native of Frederick, Maryland, appears in major league spring training for the first time at age 23. Lipscomb played every infield position last year while hitting fairly well, although his walk rate left something to be desired. While the Nats have better prospects by the numbers, they obviously like Lipscomb, and his positional versatility and bat-to-ball skills give him a reasonably high floor.

To find success, Lipscomb will need to find either his patience and take more walks, or his power stroke and hit more homers. Ideally, he’ll do both, but either would be a positive development that could boost his future from up-and-down roster filler to capable backup infielder. While the clock is ticking, he’s still young and has room to advance his game.

Lipscomb’s path to the major leagues likely runs through Ildemaro Vargas and Nasim Nuñez, to say nothing of Luis García Jr., Nick Senzel, and CJ Abrams. He probably doesn’t make it to The Show by hitting his way there, but if he can do enough at the plate to convince team brass that he won’t embarrass himself while continuing to play well around the infield, he should be up sooner or later. The Nats don’t have a lot of depth at shortstop in the minor leagues, so while Lipscomb is blocked at the major league level right now, it should only be a matter of time.

#43 – Israel Pineda (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .176/.229/.268, .496 OPS, 29.4% K, 6.5% BB+HBP, 2% HR
Career stats (MLB): .077/.143/.077, .220 OPS, 50% K, 7.1% BB+HBP, 0% HR
Career stats (minors): .231/.291/.374, .665 OPS, 24.4% K, 8% BB+HBP, 2.9% HR

Pineda, 24 in April, was a late cut from the roster after the Nats signed Joey Gallo in January. He passed through waivers and was promptly invited to major league spring training camp, where catchers are in high demand.

The Nats gave Pineda a very brief look in 2022, but he looked badly overmatched across four games and didn’t make it back to The Show at all in 2023. It seems almost impossible to believe Pineda was once considered the Nats’ catcher of the future, but that was years ago when Keibert Ruiz was still Los Angeles Dodgers property. Pineda did earn his callup in 2022, to be sure, with a .258/.783 slash line across three levels, but his 41-game campaign in 2023 was an unmitigated disaster, and Pineda now finds himself way down the depth chart.

Pineda is in camp to do some catching, and the Nats will very likely prefer to fill a need by going outside the organization if one arises rather than entrust a roster role to Pineda. Hopefully he can get something going at the minor league level, because a repeat of 2023 could well see Pineda out of baseball for good. There’s just not much room in this game for sub-.500 OPS hitters.

#50 – James Wood (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .262/.353/.520, .874 OPS, 31.5% K, 12.8% BB+HBP, 4.7% HR
Career stats (minors): .291/.388/.527, .915 OPS, 28.1% K, 14% BB+HBP, 4.1% HR

The Nats’ best or second-best prospect behind Dylan Crews depending on who you ask, Wood is a colossal human with colossal talent. The 6-foot-6 outfielder from Rockville, Maryland, is poised to make his major league debut after blasting his way through the minor leagues last year, finishing at Double-A Harrisburg. He’s widely regarded as a top-20 prospect in baseball, even ranked in the top 10 by some sources.

Even those lofty ratings have to come as a bit of a disappointment for the Nats, after many evaluators tipped Wood as the likely No. 1 prospect in baseball for 2024. While Wood clobbered the ball in 2023 while earning rave reviews in center field, his strikeout rate did tick up and his walk rate (while still good) ticked down slightly. That owes entirely to some wobbles after he was promoted to Double-A, as he punched out in around one-third of his plate appearances as a Senator. Now for the good news: After his late-May promotion, Wood slashed .225/.777 through the end of July, then .233/.828 in August, then turned on the afterburners with a .353/.990 line over fourteen games in September to close out the season. He still struck out too much, and he probably can’t count on his .395 BABIP over August and September, but the improvement is absolutely what the Nats wanted to see from Wood, and he enters spring training with a lot of wind in his sails.

Could Wood make the team on Opening Day? It’s possible. It’s probably not likely. The Nats have Joey Gallo in left field and Lane Thomas in right field, and manager Davey Martinez has publicly described center field as a competition mainly between Víctor Robles and Jacob Young. The Nats almost certainly won’t bring up Wood just to ride the pine, so they’ll have to be convinced he is the best choice at his position. There’s an outside chance he DHs for at least a short while, but the contest there is arguably stiffer with the likes of Stone Garrett, Jesse Winker, and Juan Yepez in the picture. It’s likeliest Wood reports to either Double-A Harrisburg or Triple-A Rochester to start the year, then wins a promotion sometime between April and August.

#55 – Brady House (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .312/.365/.497, .862 OPS, 23.8% K, 8% BB+HBP, 3.2% HR
Career stats (minors): .303/.365/.468, .833 OPS, 25.1% K, 9.3% BB+HBP, 3% HR

The 2022 season did not go the way Brady House hoped. After a hot start, he injured his back and struggled badly before landing on the injured list. House plummeted down prospect charts, and many evaluators openly wondered where his power went and whether he could possibly get back on track. All that gave House some bulletin-board material, and he came back with a vengeance in 2023, rising from Low-A Fredericksburg to Double-A Harrisburg while hardly breaking stride along the way. He finished the season on a .324/.833 tear as a Senator, bashing all three of his Double-A home runs in September as he slashed .412/1.181 line over nine games that month.

The rap against House for 2023 is that the Nats still babied him a bit. He got more days off than many of his teammates, appearing in 88 games (as opposed to Wood and Lipscomb’s 129 apiece). He does enter 2024 still needing to show he can play at an elite level without needing every fourth or fifth game off. But House did stay healthy all year, and nearly two years post-injury, he ought to be full speed ahead this season.

There’s not much blocking House from the major leagues at this point. The Nats chose not to make a multiyear commitment to a third baseman this winter. If they determine House is ready, there’s little to keep them from taking Nick Senzel out of the everyday lineup and making House their third baseman. It could happen as soon as the first half of this season, especially if House impresses this spring.

#57 – Robert Hassell III (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .221/.324/.321, .645 OPS, 29.5% K, 14% BB+HBP, 1.7% HR
Career stats (minors): .265/.358/.398, .755 OPS, 23.7% K, 12.8% BB+HBP, 2% HR

What’s the matter with Hassell? When the Nats acquired him as part of the Juan Soto trade in 2022, Hassell was considered a fast-to-the-majors, high-floor outfield prospect, with many evaluators ranking him in the top 100 overall if not the top 50. Hassell hasn’t done much since then, suffering a hamate injury later that season and pushing through a full 2023 campaign but showing greatly diminished impact at the plate.

Power has never been Hassell’s carry tool. He has good plate discipline and takes his walks, but he struck out way too much last year for a guy who doesn’t make a lot of noise when he does connect. On the somewhat more positive side, Hassell put up a .281/.700 line over fourteen games in September to finish out the year, and he got his strikeout rate for that month down to about 25%. That’s still not enough impact, with just two extra-base hits in September, but if he can keep up that level of contact as the power (hopefully) returns from his hand injury, Hassell could be on the rise again in 2024 just as Brady House was in 2023.

It’s very important to remember here that Hassell is still quite young. He doesn’t turn 23 until August; he’s more than a year younger than Trey Lipscomb. The Nats will want to see some progression from Hassell in 2024, ideally sooner rather than later, but he’s not on the verge of aging out of prospect status. Yes, he was expected to move a lot faster than this, and that’s a bummer, but the Nats could still wind up with a capable fourth outfielder and maybe better if Hassell can show his 2023 struggles were due to injury rather than regression.

#82 – Brady Lindsly (NRI)

2023 stats (minors): .234/.331/.353, .684 OPS, 29.3% K, 13% BB+HBP, 2.5% HR
Career stats (minors): .216/.303/.329, .631 OPS, 29.8% K, 11.3% BB+HBP, 2.2% HR

Best known for being Cade Cavalli’s college catcher, Lindsly is back in major league spring training camp for the second time. The Nats don’t have many catchers in camp, having decided not to (at least for now) sign their usual veteran flier at the position to help out in spring training. Lindsly will catch some pitches, probably get into a few games, and move over to the minor league side once the pitchers are winnowed down a bit.

Lindsly, 26 in March, is not and has never been a top prospect. He’s been decent in pro ball and had a competent season in 2023, splitting the year between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester. He’s limited by a lack of power and poor contact skills, but he does take his fair share of walks and he handles a pitching staff pretty well.

There’s virtually no chance of Lindsly breaking camp with the Nats. They’ll be deciding between Riley Adams and Drew Millas as the backup to Keibert Ruiz; if two catchers get hurt in spring training, it seems likelier they’ll look for a trade partner or check out what’s left on the free agent market rather than fill the position in-house with Lindsly or Israel Pineda. At best, Lindsly could build on his .243/.737 slash line over 21 games at Triple-A and put himself in line for a midseason callup in case the injury bug bites.

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