Washington Nationals Roster
- NL East
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The Washington Nationals optioned starting pitcher Erick Fedde to Triple-A Fresno on Thursday. Fedde was a candidate for the final spot in the rotation, but it's not a huge surprise given the fact that he had options remaining while Joe Ross and Austin Voth did not. Ross and Voth are now in competition for the No. 5 spot, with the loser of the battle ending up in long relief out of the bullpen. Fedde should get his chance eventually during the 2020 season, though, and he'd certainly become an option at least in NL-only leagues. Catcher Tres Barrera was also sent to Fresno, while utility infielder Adrian Sanchez, outfielder Andrew Stevenson and pitchers James Borque and Kyle Finnegan were sent to Double-A Harrisburg.
The Washington Nationals released relief pitcher Hunter Strickland on Saturday. Reliever David Hernandez was also unconditionally released, and the team optioned Jake Noll, Ben Braymer, Aaron Barrett and Kyle McGowin to Triple-A. Strickland, 31, appeared in 24 regular season games but none in the playoffs after coming over from Seattle in a trade last season. The right-handed reliever is 16-15 with a 3.16 ERA, 229 strikeouts, 87 walks and 21 saves in 281 career games, but he struggled mightily in spring training, which led to his release. He could latch on elsewhere for the 2020 season, but he's unlikely to have much of a path to saves and can be ignored in fantasy for now.
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Patrick Corbin got one more spring start in Thursday just before the coronavirus shutdown, throwing four shutout innings with just one hit and no walks allowed. He struck out three and winds up with a 4.00 ERA in nine innings over three spring starts. Corbin's 2018 breakout continued in '19, as he won 14 games in 202 innings with a 3.25 ERA, 3.59 xFIP, and 238 strikeouts. Whenever the 2020 season finally gets underway, Corbin will make for a back-end #1 or high-end #2 fantasy starter.
Washington Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton (hamstring) returned to Grapefruit League play on Wednesday as the designated hitter and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout against the Astros. If Eaton can avoid any setbacks with his hamstring, he should be fine for Opening Day. Trea Turner is expected to lead off in 2020, with Eaton hitting second. The 31-year-old is a contact hitter that should provide a useful average, plenty of runs and modest power and speed numbers for the Nats if he can stay healthy. You could do worse as you build outfield depth in mixed leagues. Eaton's ADP currently sits at 184.2.
Although Washington Nationals catcher Yan Gomes will be the team's primary option again this season, fellow catcher Kurt Suzuki will get a large chunk of the playing time. Suzuki is looking to catch starters Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, with Gomes catching the rest of the staff. Suzuki has been the superior hitter for years now, and catching about 40% of the time to Gomes' 60% is close enough that Suzuki is the better option of the two for fantasy purposes. While Suzuki belongs on a roster in two-catcher leagues and could be a streamer in daily one-catcher leagues, Gomes doesn't offer nearly that upside.