WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Before the team got on a flight back to Washington on Sunday evening, the Nationals announced their final roster moves before the end of camp. Infielders Adrian Sanchez and Matt Reynolds were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, bringing the Nats' 25-man roster picture into focus ahead
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Before the team got on a flight back to Washington on Sunday evening, the Nationals announced their final roster moves before the end of camp. Infielders Adrian Sanchez and Matt Reynolds were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, bringing the Nats' 25-man roster picture into focus ahead of Tuesday's exhibition game.
Washington will start the year with a short bench and an eight-man bullpen, which allows them to hang on to a pair of relievers who were out of options and a righty who makes the team after a fantastic camp.
Right-hander Trevor Gott will make the Nationals' Opening Day roster for the first time along with left-handers Enny Romero and Matt Grace, both of whom were out of options and on the roster bubble. They will join a bullpen that includes lefties Sean Doolittle and Sammy Solis as well as right-handers Ryan Madson, Brandon Kintzler and Shawn Kelley.
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The Nationals had been weighing whether they should begin the season with an extra bench player or extra reliever and ultimately decided they did not want to risk exposing Grace or Romero to waivers. Washington is not normally a team to give up on players until absolutely necessary, and the club used nearly all of its 40-man roster to get through last season.
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They were not willing to part ways with Grace, who had been stretched out this spring to potentially be able to pitch multiple innings from the bullpen, or Romero, who carries tantalizing potential because of his ability to hit triple digits with his fastball.
Gott makes the Opening Day roster, seizing an opportunity with a fantastic spring after injuries to a pair of right-hander relievers -- Koda Glover (shoulder) and Joaquin Benoit (forearm) remain shut down. Gott capped his spring with another scoreless inning in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Cardinals.
The Nationals acquired Gott after a solid rookie season with the Angels before the 2016 season, but he has struggled to stick in the Majors with Washington. He did not allow a run in 10 Grapefruit League outings this spring and finished with eight strikeouts in 11 innings.
Washington will begin the season with a short bench as well, considering Wilmer Difo and Howie Kendrick will fill in at second base for the injured Daniel Murphy. Kendrick seems poised to get most of the starts, which leaves Difo on the reserve crew with Matt Adams, Brian Goodwin and Miguel Montero, who learned he made the team Saturday morning.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.