Washington Nationals announce 2022 non-roster invitees

March 14th, 2022

The Washington Nationals announced 22 non-roster invitees for 2022 Spring Training on Monday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Victor Arano
Cade Cavalli
Carl Edwards Jr.
Reed Garrett
Jefry Rodriguez
Jackson Rutledge
Jordan Weems

Luis Avilán
Alberto Baldonado
Matt Cronin

Taylor Gushue (S)
Chris Herrmann (L)
Drew Millas (S)
Israel Pineda

Jackson Cluff (L)
Maikel Franco
Jake Noll
Adrián Sanchez
Dee Strange-Gordon (L)
Richard Ureña (S)
Andrew Young

Gerardo Parra (L)

Arano, 27, joins the Nationals after going 1-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 32 games for Triple-A Gwinnett in Atlanta’s Minor League system in 2021. Since becoming a reliever in 2016, Arano has pitched to a 2.75 ERA and has 10.6 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 115 Minor League outings. He made his Major League debut as a September call-up in 2017 and made his first career Opening Day roster in 2018.

Avilán, 32, enters his second season with the Nationals. He appeared in four games out of Washington’s bullpen in 2021 before undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in late April. A veteran of 10 Major League seasons, Avilán has pitched to a 3.43 ERA in 458 career outings. Since 2018, he’s held opposing left-handed batters to a .182/.257/.273 slash line with just two home runs allowed along the way.

Baldonado, 29, returns to the Nationals after making his Major League debut with Washington in 2021. Prior to having his contract selected on September 1, he went 6-1 with a 2.88 ERA (13 ER/40.2 IP) with 47 strikeouts, nine walks and 32 hits allowed in 34 appearances between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester. Baldonado made his Major League debut on September 2 against Philadelphia (1.0 IP, H, 2 SO) and went on to make a total of 14 appearances out Washington’s bullpen.

Cavalli, 22, is Washington’s No. 2 prospect and the No. 27 prospect in baseball, per Baseball America. He returns for his second Major League Spring Training after being selected No. 22 overall in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. In his first full professional season in 2021, Cavalli led all of Minor League Baseball with 175 strikeouts, while his 3.36 ERA paced all full-season Nationals Minor Leaguers. He was selected to represent the Washington Nationals in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and earned High-A East (June 13) and Double-A Northeast (August 1) Pitcher of the Week honors.

Cluff, 25, is entering his fourth professional season after being selected in the sixth round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Brigham Young University. He hit .214 with six doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, 12 walks, seven stolen bases and 18 runs scored across 45 games during the 2021 season. For the second consecutive season, Baseball America named Cluff the “Best Defensive Infielder” and the “Best Infield Arm” in Washington’s system. Following the 2021 campaign, he hit .342 with six doubles, one homer, 14 RBI and 18 runs scored and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Arizona Fall League.

Cronin, 24, takes part in his second Major League Spring Training in 2022. A fourth-round pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arkansas, he was named Washington’s top left-handed pitching prospect and the No. 14 prospect in the organization, per Baseball America. In 2021, Cronin went 4-1 with four saves and a 3.00 ERA in 23 games between three levels of Washington’s system. Left-handed batters are 8-for-54 (.148) with one extra-base hit (2B) and 30 strikeouts in 66 plate appearances against him in two professional seasons.

Edwards, 30, appeared in seven games between Atlanta and Toronto posting an 11.12 ERA (7 ER/5.2 IP) in 2021. Edwards ranks third among relievers with a .166 opponents’ average against since he debuted in 2015. He was a member of the Chicago Cubs World Series Roster in 2016 where he recorded the first two outs in the decisive 10th inning of Game 7.

Franco, 29, spent the majority of the 2021 season with the Baltimore Orioles before joining Atlanta’s system on August 31, spending the final month of the season with Triple-A Gwinnet. The veteran third baseman hit at least 22 home runs in three consecutive seasons from 2016-18, including a career-high 25 in 2016.

Garrett, 29, joins the Nationals after spending the previous two seasons with the Seibu Lions of the Japan Professional League. He went 7-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 110 games during those two seasons. In 2019, Garrett made his Major League debut with the Detroit Tigers and went on to appear in 13 games.

Gushue, 28, returns to the Nationals organization after spending the 2021 season in the Chicago Cubs’ system. He hit .223 with 14 doubles, eight homers, 39 RBI and 29 runs scored in 75 games for Triple-A Iowa and had his contract selected, making his Major League debut on June 30 at Milwaukee.

Herrmann, 34, is a veteran of eight Major League seasons, most recently with Oakland in 2019. Prior to that, he appeared in the Major Leagues with Seattle (2018), Arizona (2016-17) and Minnesota (2012-15). He spent the 2021 season in the Red Sox Minor League system, hitting .222 with nine doubles, one triple, seven homers, 20 RBI and 28 runs scored in 48 games with Triple-A Worcester.

Millas, 24, will partake in his first Major League Spring Training after being acquired by the Nationals at the 2021 Trade Deadline. He enters 2022 with the “Best Strike Zone Discipline” in Washington’s Minor League system, according to Baseball America. In 2021, his first full professional season, Millas hit .264 with 16 doubles, one triple, three homers, 48 RBI, 15 stolen bases and 49 runs scored in 86 games. He led High-A East catchers with 65 assists.

Noll, 28, enters his seventh season with Washington’s organization. In 2021, he led Washington’s Minor League system in batting average (.300), doubles (28), RBI (69), slugging percentage (.494), OPS (.840), hits (131), extra-base hits (48) and total bases (216) in 118 games with Triple-A Rochester en route to being named Washington’s Minor League Player of the Year. Washington’s seventh-round pick in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, Noll earned his first career invite to MLB Spring Training in 2019 and went on to make the team.

Parra, 34, returns to the Nationals after hitting .237 with five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, six walks and 13 runs scored in 53 games for Washington in 2021. Parra joined the Nationals in 2019 before spending the 2020 season with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Professional League.

Pineda, 21, Washington’s No. 22 prospect, according to Baseball America, will take part in his second Major League Spring Training in 2022. He ranked tied for fourth among Nationals Minor Leaguers with a career-high 14 home runs, while his career-high 48 RBI were tied for eighth during the 2021 season.

Rodriguez, 28, enters his ninth season in Washington’s organization (2012-18, 2021-22). The tall, hard-throwing righty returned to Washington in 2021 after spending the previous two seasons with Cleveland. Rodriguez had his contract selected on June 12 and went on to make the start that night vs. San Francisco (4.0 IP, H, 3 BB, 2 SO). He remained with the Nationals the remainder of the 2021 season, going on to make 13 appearances out of the bullpen.

Rutledge, 22, is the No. 9 prospect in Washington’s system, according to Baseball America and the No. 3 prospect in the chain according to MLBPipeline.com. He returns for his second Major League Spring Training in 2022 after a strong finish to his 2021 season, going 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA and a .203 opponents’ average in his final six starts with Low-A Fredericksburg. Washington’s first round draft pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft has been cited as having the “Best Fastball” (2021, 2020) and “Best Slider” (2021) in Washington’s system, per Baseball America.

Sanchez, 31, returns to the Nationals for his 15th professional season. The versatile infielder has appeared in 106 games across four Major League seasons (2017-19, 2021), hitting .262 with 11 doubles, one triple, 16 RBI and 22 runs scored. In 2021, Sanchez went 9-for-28 (.321) with two doubles, three walks and five runs scored in eight starts with the Nationals.

Strange-Gordon, 33, is a two-time All-Star and Major League Baseball’s active leader in career stolen bases with 333. He combined to hit .248 with 11 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 21 RBI, 11 walks, six stolen bases and 36 runs scored in 54 games between Triple-A Nashville (MIL), Triple-A Iowa (CHI) and Triple-A Indianapolis (PIT) in 2021.

Ureña, 26, spent parts of three Major League seasons (2017-19) with the Toronto Blue Jays, appearing in 91 games. A utility infielder, Ureña has spent time at shortstop (53 G), second base (23 G), third base (9 G) and left field (1 G) at the Major League level. In 2021, he appeared in 91 games for Triple-A Buffalo, hitting .272 with 24 doubles, one triple, nine homers, 49 RBI, 16 walks, two stolen bases and 41 runs scored.

Weems, 29, was originally selected by Boston in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft as a catcher but made his Major League debut with Oakland in 2020 as a pitcher. He logged a 3.21 ERA (5 ER/14.0 IP) in nine relief appearances with the A’s in 2020. He opened the 2021 season with Oakland before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 5.

Young, 27, was selected by Washington in the Minor League phase of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft. He appeared in 70 games for the Diamondbacks across the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He posted a .462 slugging percentage with 16 extra-base hits (9 2B, 7 HR) in those 70 games. He hit .304 with 20 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 41 RBI in 48 games with Triple-A Reno.