The Nationals have “kind of settled on” their choice for a closer, Dusty Baker told Jamal Collier of MLB.com, but the manager hasn’t revealed the decision to anyone competing for the role. Koda Glover, Shawn Kelley and Blake Treinen have all been vying for the job this spring, and it appears the inexperienced Glover is the front-runner. Although Glover has just 19 2/3 major league innings on his resume, the hard-throwing 23-year-old is the favorite to handle the ninth, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman, who adds that Washington likes his “moxie.”
More from D.C. and two other NL East cities:
- Sticking with the Nationals’ bullpen, right-hander Joe Nathan is still with the team after he didn’t opt out of his contract Friday. However, that wasn’t his only opportunity – the longtime closer actually has a 72-hour window to exit his minor league pact, reports Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com (Twitter link). The Nats have taken a good look this spring at the 42-year-old Nathan, who has thrown 10 2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on 13 hits and three walks (and totaled eight strikeouts).
- The Phillies are facing a 40-man roster crunch as Opening Day nears, meaning they could pursue a trade to free up space, per Matt Gelb of Philly.com. “We’re trying to come up with the best plan for when we break, and a lot of it has to do with the non-roster players,” said manager Pete Mackanin. “If we make a move, someone has to come off [the 40-man roster] and that’s an issue.” Outfielder Tyler Goeddel, whom the Phillies demoted to Double-A on Friday, and pitchers Adam Morgan, Alec Asher and Luis Garcia are among those on the 40-man bubble, notes Gelb.
- Marlins left-hander Jeff Locke is making progress in his bout with bicep tendinitis, having thrown off a mound for the first time this spring on Saturday, but manager Don Mattingly suggested he’s likely to at least miss all of April, writes Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Locke, an ex-Pirate whom the Marlins signed to a one-year, $3.025MM deal in December, would have opened the season as either a No. 5 starter or a long reliever had he been healthy. Locke’s ongoing absence will continue to sap the depth of a Miami team which is reportedly looking for rotation help.