Nationals make more cuts
The Nationals sent to their minor league first baseman Chris Duncan, starting pitcher Shairon Martis and infielder Pete Orr. All three players will begin the year with Class AAA Syracuse. The Nationals now have 36 players in their major league camp.
"We're just trying to get the club down to a more workable, managebale number as we get to these last couple weeks," Mananger Jim Riggleman said.
Duncan went 5 for 32 (.156) with 10 strikeouts and five walks this his spring in his attempt to revitalize a career beset by injury and a swing gone haywire. In trying to regain the mechanics that made him a burgeoning young slugger with the Cardinals, Duncan may have sacrificed proudction.
"The changes he's trying to make are necessary for his future," Riggleman said. "It may have cost him some quality in some of his at-bats. Somewhere between what he's been working on and what he was in the past, he'll find a niche there that will work for him Triple A and get him ready to help us. Because he is a guy that gives us a little something different from anybody else, which would be a power threat from the left side off the bench."
Riggleman on Orr, who went .200/.360/.250 while playing defense below his standard: "Pete's a very good player. I don't think Pete showed his best here. I think he'd be the first to tell you that. In trying to win a job, I don't think he let himself relax and really be the player he could be."
Riggleman on Martis, who had a 13.50 ERA in 5 1/3 innings: "He just needs to continue to progress. I'm confident that he can not only come up here and help out in the starting rotation at some point, but also pitch out of the bullpen."
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