Right-hander Hobie Harris has been informed he’s made the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, agent Matt Gaeta tells Matt Kardos of SomersetPatriots.com (Twitter link). He’ll make his MLB debut as a 29-year-old rookie after an eight-year grind through the minor leagues. Harris isn’t on the Nats’ 40-man roster, so they’ll need to select his contract and make a corresponding move.
Harris forced his way into the Nationals’ plans with an excellent spring, holding opponents to just one run on three hits and a pair of walks with seven strikeouts through 10 innings. Command has been an issue for Harris in the past, evidenced by a 12.5% walk rate in two Triple-A seasons, but the former Yankees 31st-rounder still pitched to a pristine 2.04 ERA with a 27% strikeout rate in 53 innings for the Brewers’ Triple-A club in 2022. Manager Davey Martinez publicly praised Harris’ splitter and the manner in which he’d attacked the strike zone this spring.
Washington’s bullpen will likely have plenty of fluidity behind veterans Kyle Finnegan, Carl Edwards Jr. and Erasmo Ramirez. Hobie joins the likes of Hunter Harvey, Mason Thompson and Rule 5 pick Thad Ward as right-handers hoping to solidify themselves as viable big league options over the long haul. Harvey and Thompson had solid showings with the Nats in 2022, though neither reached 40 innings and Harvey in particular has a lengthy injury track record.
In additional Nats news, Martinez announced that first baseman Matt Adams will open the season in Triple-A Rochester (via Bobby Blanco of MASNsports.com). Adams, who’d been in camp on a minor league pact, was informed he would not make the club and given an opportunity to seek a roster spot elsewhere. That didn’t present itself, and he’ll open the year with the Nationals’ top minor league affiliate.
Adams, 34, hit .325/.325/.525 with a homer and four doubles but an ugly 11-to-0 K/BB ratio in 40 spring plate appearances. He hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2021 and spent the 2022 season playing with the Kansas City Monarchs of the independent American Association, for whom he batted .248/.327/.554 with 27 homers in just 367 plate appearances.
This will be Adams’ second stint with the Nats, as he spent time in D.C. back in 2018-19, winning a World Series ring in the second of those two seasons. The burly first baseman has long been a force against right-handed pitching but has generally stumbled against lefties in his career. He’s a .258/.306/.463 batter with 118 home runs in 2614 plate appearances at the MLB level.
Great for the guy to finally get his shot. I think he’ll have a good year for them.
How much we enjoy this year will depend on how many former prospects break out. I would love Harris and Robles to do it, along with several of the players we got for Soto. I want to be greedy here.
C Yards Jeff
Cool first name. The first Hobie in the show? I’m pulling for you Mr. Harris. C u at Nats Park!
Hobie Landrith beat him to it in the ’50s. I think he’s still alive actually
C Yards Jeff
Love it! Fun intel. Thanks mikevm3
Actually Adams’ 3rd stint w/ the Nats – he was traded to the Cardinals at the end of ’18 and re-signed a 1 year deal that offseason.
Nice to see Carl Edwards in a groove again. He’s been around long enough now he could probably lose the Jr..