The Nationals have released utilityman Derek Dietrich and catcher/corner outfielder Blake Swihart, relays Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Both players had been with their top affiliate in Rochester after signing minor league deals this year.
Dietrich began the year with the Yankees’ Triple-A club, posting a bizarre but productive .215/.413/.393 line over 143 plate appearances. While the left-handed hitter struck out at a huge 32.2% clip and posted that low batting average, he walked in a fantastic 18.9% of his plate appearances and hit for a decent enough amount of power. When the Yankees didn’t select him to the big league roster, Dietrich triggered an opt-out clause in his contract and was granted his release in early July.
He hooked on with the Nationals on another minors deal not long after, but his time in the Washington organization didn’t go well. Over 160 plate appearances with the Red Wings, Dietrich slumped to a .121/.270/.212 line, with his walk rate more than cut in half relative to his time in the Yankees’ system. He’ll now hit the open market and look for another opportunity. Dietrich hasn’t appeared in the majors this season, but he saw big league action with the Marlins, Reds and Rangers from 2013-20.
Swihart hasn’t appeared in the majors in two seasons. A one-time top prospect in the Red Sox system, Swihart always came with some defensive question marks behind the plate but was expected to be a high-end offensive player. He’s never really found his footing at the plate in the majors, though, hitting .243/.301/.355 in 696 plate appearances between Boston and the D-Backs from 2015-19. Signed to a minors deal in January, the left-handed hitting Swihart had a .198/.299/.339 mark in 204 plate appearances in Rochester.