The Nationals announced that left-hander Matt Cronin and outfielder Jeremy De La Rosa have each cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Rochester. Cronin was designated for assignment earlier this week but De La Rosa wasn’t publicly known to be on waivers. This move drops the 40-man roster count to 39.
De La Rosa, 22 in January, was added to the club’s roster just under a year ago. He got that roster spot after mashing his way through 69 Single-A games in 2022, hitting 10 home runs and producing a batting line of .315/.394/.505 while also stealing 26 bases. A move up to High-A didn’t go so well, but the club nonetheless didn’t want to risk losing him in last year’s Rule 5 draft and put him on the 40-man.
Unfortunately, 2023 didn’t go nearly as well for him. He got into 93 games at High-A but only went deep seven times and struck out at a 33.7% clip, finishing with a line of .240/.324/.361. After those struggles, it seems the Nats bumped him off the roster and none of the other 29 clubs decided to grab him. He’ll stick in the Nationals’ organization but without occupying a spot on the 40-man.
Cronin, 26, got his roster spot at the same time as De La Rosa, protecting him from last year’s Rule 5 draft. He got that spot on the heels of a strong 2022 season, posting a 2.42 earned run average between Double-A and Triple-A. But this year, he made 14 Triple-A appearances with a 5.02 ERA before he underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back. “For those that don’t know, I had been dealing with pain in my left shoulder/arm for the last 2 years but could never seem to find anything wrong with them,” Cronin said in an Instagram post in August. “That was up until about a month ago when we decided to have my spine checked out and found a large herniated disc at my C5-C6 level.”
Like De La Rosa, Cronin will stay in the organization but without taking up a roster spot. The current status of his back isn’t publicly known but he will presumably be working to return to the roster as soon as he’s able to.