Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2022 Rule-5 Protection Analysis


Cronin may be getting the 40-man call ahead of the rule5 roster deadline. hoto by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Its our Annual rule 5 protection analysis post!

This is our longest running recurring post. Every year, despite how little the rule-5 draft may actually matter, we’ve done this analysis, since we started writing this blog.

Here’s links to past years posts on this topic: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

Reminder on the guidelines here: any 4-year college-aged draftee from 2019 or before who isn’t already on the 40-man roster is Rule-5 eligible this coming December, and any high-school aged draftee/International Free Agent from 2018 or before is newly eligible this year, assuming they were at least 18 as of June 5th of that year.  There’s always a couple of guys who have specific birthdays that move them up or down one way or the other; i’ll depend on the Roster Resource rules and the Draft Tracker for exact details, but apologies in advance if I miss someone.

Wrinkle for this year; thanks to the massive spate of injuries the team faced in 2022, we had to dump players just to get all our 60-day DL guys back on the 40-man. So there’s not a ton of room there to add players right now. The team outrighted two players last week (Perez and Berrera) to get to 39/40 on the roster … is that a hint as to what they’ll be doing for Rule5? Probably.

If they want to do more Rule5 protection additions, they’ll need to do more DFAs/releases/outrights/non-tenders … right now I see six players who seem to have little to no value on the roster based on 2022 performance (Machado, Fox, TRomero, Palacios, Weems, Garrett) and another handful of arbitration eligible players who just don’t seem like they’re going to be worth their projected salary (Voit, Fedde, Robles), so there’s definitely room to make some drops to add some of the guys we’re talking about below. We’ll have another conversation later about non-tender/arbitration candidates; but don’t be surprised if one or more of them is dumped this week.

In the mean time, lets talk Rule-5 Candidates!

Vital resources for this analysis: the Big Board, the Draft Tracker, and Roster Resource.

Group 1: Newly Eligible 2019 draft College Players this year worth consideration for protection:


  • Millas, Drew, a 7th rounder by Oakland in 2019 and who we acquired in the 2021 trade dump, perhaps is the most difficult Rule-5 choice we face (certainly the MLBpipeline guys think so). He’s a known prospect and has solid defense, but slashed just .211/.280/.296 once he got to AA. We’re not exactly “deep” in catchers in the organization (rostering just three right now), but we also have two known opening day catchers right now without argument, so Millas’ 2023 goal will be to learn how to hit in AA, then push his way to AAA. Does that sound like someone who is a risk to get selected in the Rule-5 draft? Not in the modern game, where teams routinely start their backup C twice a week. There’s no way a guy who hit .211 in AA would be trusted to call MLB games right now. I’ll say he’s a slight, slight chance to protect but not really a candidate.
  • Mendoza, Drew: 3rd rounder, 1B/DH: he of course *should* be a Rule5 protection … but this 3rd rounder has been a huge disappointment in his career. He slashed .208/.288/.316 as a 1B/DH repeating High-A in his age 24 season. Not a protection candidate.
  • Cluff, Jackson: 6th round SS: socially promoted to AA this year, where he slashed .190/.278/.278. I’ve questioned why he’s still in the system, let alone why he got nearly 400 ABs in 2022. Not a protection candidate.
  • Pratt, Andrew: 10th round Senior sign, still hanging around despite a career BA of .183. God bless him; signed for $10k and probably wasn’t expected to make it to 2020 season, let alone rostered 3 years later. Not a protection candidate.
  • Arruda, J.T.: 11th round middle infielder who got an above slot bonus. Couldn’t cut it at High-A in 2021, got hurt early 2022 and had decent numbers (as one would expect) repeating Low-A. Not sure what his career outlook is, but not a protection candidate.
  • Dunn, Jack, a 20th round senior sign who, like Pratt signed for $10k and was mostly an afterthought, now sits on the AAA roster as a middle infield backup. Great career; not a threat to be protected.
  • Strohschein, Kevin, a 21st round senior sign, posted a .586 OPS in high-A this year. Great that he’s still hanging around, but not a protection candidate.
  • Alu, Jake presents an interesting case for protection. In 2021 he hacked his way into a promotion to AA, where he didn’t suck. Then in 2022 he posted an .830 OPS in AA showing some power, which led to a AAA promotion where he posted a very solid .323/.372/.553 figure with 11 homers in 59 games (!) while playing mostly 3B (with some 2B cover). Is he possibly pushing his name towards meriting a 40-man spot? I mean … if Carter Kieboom hits .200 yet again in spring training, does the team consider someone like Alu instead of a 31-yr old retread like Ildemar Vargas for 2023? I mean why not? That all being said, is he someone who another team would pluck and stick on their MLB roster all year? Maybe? The Nats signed Alu as a Senior for a pittance ($10K) and in the neanderthal accounting of MLB clubs that means they very little “invested in” him, but players who hit .300 in AAA don’t grow on trees (our team had just 4 who hit .300 this year … and two of them had fewer than 6 games to do so). Personally, i’d protect him just to see what you have, but I could understand why the team might roll the dice on a lower profile guy.

This list recently included names like Ydens, Martina, Renda, and Barrios but they were all released in mid-2022.


  • Rutledge, Jackson, our 1st rounder in 2019 and the guy who some pundits as recently as last off-season thought was a better prospect than Cade Cavalli, toiled to a 4.90 ERA, a K/inning and a 1.39 WHIP while repeating Low-A in 2022. Low-A. First round college sign four years out of college. Its patently ridiculous. On the one hand the entire baseball world knows he’s a 1st rounder and knows he can put up 7ip/3H/0R/10K starts. On the other hand, he’s got way, way too many 4ER in 5IP starts to be trustworthy. If he was putting up like 12 K/9 stats, maybe someone would take him as a flier for a middle relief RHP guy, but he’s not. He’s not protectable, but he’s also an asset the team may feel the need to “protect.” I’d be shocked if he was protected, but hey, they also protected a guy a couple years ago in Antuna who was this low in the minors.
  • Cronin, Matt, 4th round power Lefty reliever who pitched most of the year in the back end of the AAA bullpen, posting good numbers. This is the textbook definition of the kind of guy teams would pluck in Rule-5, make the 7th guy out of the bullpen, and see if they found gold. I think he’s a lock to be protected.
  • Dyson, Tyler, 5th round pick in 2019, missed all of 2020 with injury. Not a protection candidate, but a good arm to watch in 2023.
  • Peterson, Todd, 7th rounder in 2019, struggled with injury in 2022 and ended the year on the 60-day DL. Not a candidate to protect, and someone who I hope rebounds to prior form.
  • Ribalta, Orlando ended the year as a middle reliever in High-A with decent numbers, but isn’t a threat to protect.
  • Knowles, Lucas worked as an effective swingman all year in High-A, but shouldn’t be considered a threat to be picked even so. Perhaps next year if he can repeat this performance in AA.
  • Moore, Davis missed the entire 2022 season with injury.
  • Willingham, Amos, like a lot of arms in this list, pitched well for High-A this year. Hi-A 25yr olds drafted in the teens don’t generally make prospect noise, and Willingham is in the same boat.
  • Yankosky, Tyler posted a 1.78 ERA in 21 mostly 8th/9th inning relief appearances and was well on his way to a promotion, then he got hurt in mid June and did not appear again. Someone to watch for in 2023 for sure, but not likely to get plucked.
  • Stainbrook, Troy was yet another High-A middle reliever in 2022, posting a 4.75 ERA with more walks than IP. Surprised he’s still on the roster and might not make it out of ST 2023.
  • Alston, Garvin, a 37th rounder in 2019 by the White Sox who we got in a little reported trade in April (it was such a minor deal that it’s unclear what we traded to Chicago for him; money perhaps? ). Nonetheless he pitched great this year, posting a 1.96 ERA in High-A and earning a promotion to AA in August (where he got shelled). Probably not a protection candidate in 2022, but a player to watch for in 2023.
  • Shuman, Seth: a 6th rounder in 2019 by Oakland who came to us in the Gomes/Harrison trade during the 2021 purge. He was pitching quite well in High-A’s rotation, but left a game early in early July and never returned. Its unclear what the injury was, and we hope he returns in 2023. Not a candidate.

Group 1 Rule-5 Protection Candidates: Millas (slight), Alu (maybe). Rutledge (doubtful), Cronin (lock).

Group 2: Newly Eligible 2018 High School-age drafted players under consideration for protection

This section is always easy, since we rarely draft HS kids, but this year there’s a big name.

  • Denaburg, Mason. 1st rounder 2018. Made 13 starts in Low-A this year after multiple seasons of injury issues. Obviously not a candidate to get drafted despite his 1st round pedigree. Example 1-A of why drafting prep RH pitchers in the 1st round is risky.

Group 2 Rule-5 Protection Candidates: none.

Group 3: Newly Eligible 2018 signed IFAs under consideration for protection:

Note; we have a ton of 2018 IFAs on the big board; i’m not going to bother naming these guys unless they’re out of rookie ball, even if they’re mentioned on roster resource as someone to watch.

  • Rivero, Yoander: hit a combined .214 between low and high A. Not a protection candidate.
  • De La Cruz, Christopher: hit well in FCL, but then struggled in Low-A. Not a candidate.
  • Caceres, Bryan: 5.92 ERA in a full year in the Low-A rotation. Not a candidate.
  • Theophile, Rodney: destroyed Low-A in the rotation, then put up a 5 ERA in high-A. Not a candidate. Just got selected to play for Nicaragua though in the WBC, so he’ll get some exposure. Someone to watch.
  • Ferrer, Jose ; Great year as the high-A closer, earning two promotions and ending the year in AA. Lefty, but undersized. Definitely a breakout candidate for us in 2022, but would he get picked? Perhaps. A small risk if he’s left unprotected.
  • Pena, Bryan: 5.74 ERA in low-A, not a candidate.
  • Guasch, Richard; trade bounty from Oakland for Gomes/Harrison; did well in High-A while repeating but got shelled in AA. Not a candidate.
  • De La Rosa, Jeremy: Crushed in Low-A in 2022, slashing .315/.394/.515. Moved up to High-A and struggled. A solid prospect for sure, not yet a rule-5 candidate. Someone to watch in 2023.
  • Atencio, Jose: Eight starts in Low-A this year, decent numbers. Not a candidate, but is only 21 and could be a name to watch in 2023.
  • Ramirez, Aldo: trade bounty for Schwarber, but who missed the entirety of 2022 with injury.

Group 3 Rule-5 Protection Candidates: Ferrer (maybe).

Group 4: Rule-5 Eligible Drafted/Domestic hold-overs of note: these are players who were rule-5 eligible previously but who put together a nice 2021 and might need additional thought. They’re sort of organized by draft year, from 2017 to earlier. Note; draft signings from 2015 hit 6-year MLFA this off-season, so they’re not listed here).

  • Tim Cate, 2nd rounder from 2018. 5.31 ERA in 21 starts in AA in 2021, and was subject of much discussion around rule-5 last year. As it turns out, it was all for naught; in 2022 he got demoted to High-A, then upon his return to AA posted a 6.16 ERA. Ouch. Is he even a prospect at this point? Unsure; certainly he’s not going to get protected.
  • Alex Troop, 9th rounder from 2017. He missed nearly all of 2018 with injuries, so he’s gotten a late start. He was a workhorse in AA in 2022, a swingman with middling numbers but filling in. Not a candidate to protect.
  • Armond Upshaw, 11th rounder from 2016. Promoted to AA in 2021, where he hit .186. Missed the entire 2022 season with injury. Not a candidate to protect.
  • Matt Merrill, a 2020 MLFA originally drafted in 2017 by Houston. Pitched his way out of the High-A rotation and ended the year as a swing-man eating up low-leverage innings and nearly a 7 ERA. His time may be short with the org.
  • Cody Wilson, 13th rounder in 2018: hit a combined .124/.225/.164 across three levels in 2021 as a backup CF. In High-A as a 26yr old in 2022. Not a prospect.
  • Onix Vega, 20th round catcher from 2018: hit .233 in Low-A in 2021, then was the starter in High-A in 2022 with decent numbers. If we’re not protecting Millas, we’re certainly not protecting Vega.
  • Cole Daily, 22nd rounder from 2018: hit just .193 across several levels in 2021 as he was bounced around to provide middle infield cover for the lower minors. Hit .222 in High-A in 2022. Not a prospect.
  • Reid Schaller, 3rd rounder from 2018: decent numbers as a middle reliever in High-A and AA in 2021, then an ugly 5.70 ERA in 2022. Not a candidate.
  • Jake Irvin, 4th rounder from 2018. spent all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery, then was babied in 2022 to build back up arm strength. Finished in AA with middling numbers; he’s someone to keep an eye on in 2023 for sure, but not likely a candidate to get protected at this point.
  • Carson Teel, 16th rounder from 2018: had a decent 2021 season, earning a promotion from AA to AAA as a long man/spot starter. Same thing happened in 2022; bounced around and mopped up innings. Not really a prospect, just an org arm.
  • Ryan Tapani, 21st rounder from 2018 who never appeared in 2022; unsure if he’s even still with the organization at this point.
  • Justin Connell, 11th rounder from 2017: starting corner OF for high-A in 2021, then promoted to AA in 2022. Despite being with us forever, he’s only 23, but has never garnered much prospect buzz. Not a candidate to be protected.
  • Trey Harris came to us in the 2022 trade deadline and was a 2018 draftee, so he’s Rule-5 eligible. He didn’t exactly light AA on fire this year (.630 OPS) so he’s not likely to get plucked.
  • Matt Brill was a minor league R5 draftee and 17D guy. In 2022 for us he was great in AA, struggled in AAA. Seems like an edge-of-the-40man roster RHP reliever, not a guy who will stick in the majors. Low risk to get picked.

Names released from this list in 2022: K.J. Harrison, Jacob Condra-Bogan, Cole Freeman, Alex Dunlap, Jackson Stoeckinger, Gage Canning, Jacob Rhinesmith, Kyle Marinconz, Andrew Karp, Chandler Day, Frankie Bartow

Names no longer eligible b/c they’ve made it to MLB: Evan Lee

Names now MLFAs: Nick Banks, Andrew Lee, Ike Schlabach

Group 4 Rule 5 Protection candidates: Irvin (not really), Brill (doubtful)

Group 5: IFAs: 2017 and older

Again, if the IFA isn’t out of rookie ball there’s no point in discussing.

  • Jordy Barley, SS, trade return from San Diego for Daniel Hudson. Hit .203 in High-A, not a candidate.
  • Wilmer Perez, C. the 2016 IFA was mostly a backup Catcher in high-A, hit .206. same for 2022.
  • Geraldo Diaz, C. hit .217 as a backup catcher in Low-A in 2021, then .254 in 2022 as the notional starter. Still not a candidate to be drafted.
  • Viandel Pena, SS. Hit .214 in Low-A in 2021, then a few points higher in High-A in 2022. Not a candidate to get drafted.
  • Ricardo Mendez, OF. Hit .227 in HighA this year. Not a candidate.
  • Leandro Emiliani, hit .165 between the GCL and Low-A in 2021, then .228 in High-A in 2022. Still not a candidate to be drafted, unclear why he keeps earning promotions.
  • Pedro Gonzalez, SP. was in the 2021 opening day rotation for Low-A, demoted after giving up 19 runs in 9 innings. In 2022, he again got shelled in low-A, this time as a reliever. Time is running out for Pedro.
  • Carlos Romero, RP. Pitched as a swing-man in 2021 Low-A, posted a 5.00 ERA and a 1.63 whip. Still in that role in 2022, but pitched to a 3.36 ERA with 97Ks in 72ip. Interesting. Still not a candidate to get picked, but someone to watch in 2023.
  • Karlo Seijas, SP. somehow stayed in the Low-A rotation the entire season, making 22 starts and pitching to a 6.84 ERA. Got absolutely shelled in 2022 in Low-A and is on the restricted list; may have been released.
  • Jose Sanchez, SS. The 2016IFA Hit .232 as the part time SS in low-A, somehow got to High-A in 2022, hit .231. Not a candidate.
  • Alfonso Hernandez, SP. The 2016IFA showed a ton of promise after a solid 2021 season, but missed the entire 2022 season on the DL.
  • Niomar Gomez, SP. the 2016IFA threw just 6 innings in 2021 and then missed the entire 2022 season with injury.
  • Wilson Garcia, a C we signed as a MLFA but who is Rule-5 Eligible. he’s 28, he raked as a DH only in AA this year, and of course i’d be shocked if he got picked. But he’s on here.
  • Luis Reyes, a 2013IFA who’s still hanging around. He got no less than 21 starts in our system between AA and AAA, a ridiculous indictment of our development system as of late (that we opted to give so many starts in AA to a 28yr old versus a prospect). not a candidate.
  • Francys Peguero: a 13IFA who’s still hanging around. He had a 4.89 ERA in AA this year as a 27yr old. Not a candidate.

Names lost from this list in 2022: Juan Diaz, Omar Meregildo, Malvin Pena, Jorge Hurtado, Andry Arias,

Names no longer eligible b/c they’ve made it to MLB roster: Israel Pineda

Names now MLFAs: Gilberto Chu, Gilbert Lara

Group 5 Protection Candidates: no one.

Group 6: Former 40-man guys who have been outrighted previously

  • Jake Noll, 7th rounder from 2016. Its unclear whether a guy who has been outrighted is R5 eligible, but Noll is now 28 and put up serviceable numbers in AAA. I don’t sense he’s a candidate.

Group 6 protection candidates: none.

So, who would I protect?

Summary of above:

Group 1: Millas (slight), Alu (maybe). Rutledge (doubtful), Cronin (lock).
Group 2: none
Group 3: Ferrer (maybe).
Group 4: Irvin (not really), Brill (doubtful)
Group 5: none
Group 6: none

So, who would I would protect?

Based on there only being one 40-man spot open right now, I predict we protect just one player:

  • Matt Cronin

If we had more … I would consider protecting, in order of likelihood:

  • Jake Alu
  • Drew Millas
  • Jackson Rutledge
  • Jose Ferrer

Post Publishing Results: Wow, they added SIX players! Cronin, Alu, De La Rosa, Rutledge, Ferrer, and Irvin. A couple of these were pretty big surprises to me.

Written by Todd Boss

November 14th, 2022 at 1:19 pm

16 Responses to '2022 Rule-5 Protection Analysis'

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  1. There are corners of the Natosphere that firmly believe that Alu will be given an equal chance against Kieboom to win the 3B job in the spring. Just looking at the numbers, it’s not that far-fetched, but unless someone has convinced him that he might be wrong about one of his beloved 1st-round picks, my guess it’s that it’s Kieboom’s job to lose (which he’s been very good at thus far — losing it, that is). Anyway, with so little other safety net at 3B right now (I hope they deleted Franco’s phone number), it makes sense to me for them to protect Alu.

    So put me down for two definites: Cronin and Alu.

    Millas started off hot in the AFL but cooled toward the end. His manager there apparently saw some power and was batting him clean-up, even in their playoff game. The Nats DFA’d Barrera last week (he passed through waivers and has been outrighted to Rochester, and his does still have one option left [I think]). But only having three catchers on the 40-man right does improve his chances. All in all, though, I agree with Todd: his regular-season performance at the plate just wasn’t good enough. And Pineda blew his doors off during what looked like a pretty equal competition to start the season.

    Ribalta had an outstanding AFL and could fit Ferrer in his pocket. But there are a gillion guys like this available in Rule 5 every year. I’d take the risk and leave them exposed. But I said the same about Evan Lee and Joan Adon, both of whom had significantly worse stats at A+ than these guys. So you never know.

    At the middle of the summer, Jeremy de la Rosa seemed like a lock to be protected. His .315 BA at the A level was built on crazy .408 BABIP “luck,” though, and when his luck sank to .272 at A+, his average plummeted to .195. That combined with power that still hasn’t really shown up and the fact that the Nats soon acquired a truckload of top OF talent (Hassell, Wood, Green, McKenzie, Cox), and there’s really no reason to reach and add de la Rosa at this point.

    Then we have the great Jackson Rutledge, who spent his entire age-23 season back at the A level struggling to a 4.90 ERA. Perhaps even scarier, he gave up 9.8 hits per nine innings in a league where he should have been untouchable. (For reference, Cavalli skipped the A level but gave up only 5.3 H/9 last season during his A+ stop, and 6.1 at AA in 2021.) All of that noted, I would not be surprised at all if Rizzo insists that he be protected. Makes no sense, but then neither did Antuna.

    And yes, only one 40-man slot available right now, so they’d have to DFA guys to protect anyone else beyond Cronin. I’d argue that it would be the perfect time to DFA Antuna, as no team is going to be adding outside stiffs to their 40-man while protecting their own prospects.

    So I’d say yes to Cronin and Alu, and that Millas and Rutledge wouldn’t surprise me.


    14 Nov 22 at 6:57 pm

  2. (“Him” in the first paragraph being Rizzo.)


    14 Nov 22 at 6:58 pm

  3. Well, we just freed up another spot on the 40-man …. so now we could add two tomorrow.

    Todd Boss

    14 Nov 22 at 7:51 pm

  4. Now that Knucklehead has been released the 2 locks to be added are Jake ‘no respect’ Alu and Matt Cronin. Both well deserving of being added.

    Ferrer and Ribalta will have an exciting 2023 but probably won’t be picked.

    Mark L

    15 Nov 22 at 7:18 am

  5. BTW, great work Todd.

    Mark L

    15 Nov 22 at 7:22 am

  6. So, five and a half years later, the Romero disaster ends . . . with yet another off-field incident. The Nats have made a lot of bad and dumb draft picks, but he takes the cake. I was screaming not to pick him even before they did. When your college teammates beat you up and they kick YOU off the team, that’s a whole color guard of red flags.

    So the 2017 1st rounder has been released and the 2018 and 2019 1st rounders haven’t made it out of the A level and probably won’t be protected from Rule 5. The 2016 1st rounder missed the entire season injured and has totally sucked at the MLB level when his has played (63 OPS+, -1.7 bWAR). The 2015 top pick (2d round) has just been allowed to become a minor-league free agent and is out of options. The 2014 1st rounder is a prime non-tender candidate with a career 5.41 ERA. The 2013 top pick (2d round) was released many moons ago. That’s seven gigantic holes in the organization where contributing players under cheap team control should be. It’s no wonder that the quality of the team has fallen off a cliff.


    15 Nov 22 at 7:59 am

  7. And I agree with Mark — with just the one roster spot cleared, seems like a good indication that it will be only Cronin and Alu. I guess they’re just going to cling to all the other stiffs until they see if any free agents are actually willing to come here.

    Of course the non-tender deadline is coming this week as well. It’s rare for them to non-tender guys, but Voit isn’t worth $8M and it’s a good opportunity to move on from Fedde (who will turn 30 in February, believe it or not).


    15 Nov 22 at 8:04 am

  8. Worth pondering, and perhaps a future preview post from Todd: the Nats will have the #1 overall pick in the Rule 5 draft (Dec. 7). Odds are good that several players available then will be better than some of the stiffs on the low end of the Nats’ 40-man.


    15 Nov 22 at 3:23 pm

  9. Unconfirmed reports floating around that the Nats have selected Cronin, Alu, de la Rosa, and, . . . wait for it . . . the guy from A-ball with the 4.90 ERA (Rutledge). (Rizzo never admits a mistake. He just doubles down on them.)


    15 Nov 22 at 3:37 pm

  10. Rule5 draft; man that’d require super deep analysis of all 30 teams and thousands of players. No time for that. I’m sure mlbpipeline will have some notes about who might get taken. and the Nats are in PRIME position to pluck a couple of rule5 guys for2023.

    I’ve also seen the TalkNats tweet; all names we discussed … de la rosa (if true) is surprising just because of the fact that he didn’t really perform above low-A. Same with Rutledge. But we’ll see.

    Todd Boss

    15 Nov 22 at 4:10 pm

  11. Announcements just came down’ they added SIX players! holy cow.

    Todd Boss

    15 Nov 22 at 4:15 pm

  12. Holy cats — six players added to the roster! @Todd Boss, that’s got to be a team record, right?

    The Nats could use their top priority to pick up another player in the Rule 5 draft itself as well. Figure they’ll free up at least one roster spot by non-tendering Arano, and there’s more chaff to cut (Fox, Garrett, Corbin…that last one might be wishful thinking).


    15 Nov 22 at 4:24 pm

  13. Holy cow indeed. Let’s be clear here: the only ones who really, truly made sense to protect were Cronin and Alu. The others are cluttering up the 40-man and burning options. Although technically I could see Jake Irvin getting an MLB look in 2023 if he can stay healthy.

    Anyway, it’s Alu, Cronin, de la Rosa (sucked at A+, nowhere near the majors), Ferrer (good at A+, a long way from the majors), Rutledge (sucked at A!), and Irvin (4.79 ERA at AA and got hurt yet again).

    The cuts may deserve a post of their own, although at least all of them are staying in the system. Evan Lee was a Rule-5 protection overreach from this time last year. Tetreault probably has more of a future than Irvin (maybe, if healthy). But Yadiel Hernandez, a semi-regular when healthy??? Really? Admittedly, he’s not one who you hope is still a part of the picture when they get good. But they ain’t CLOSE to being good, and he’s a hella lot better hitter than Robles (among others).

    And what’s it ever going to take for them to get Antuna off the 40-man??? He’ll be on his last option in 2023, and nowhere near the majors, so he’ll be gone sooner or later . . .


    15 Nov 22 at 5:01 pm

  14. I’ll add that I still think that Rutledge COULD have a good MLB ceiling, and that de la Rosa maybe could be an MLB reserve. But no other team was going to keep either of them on their 26-man roster for all of 2023. That wasn’t ever going to happen. There’s a much greater chance that Millas would be picked than either of those guys.


    15 Nov 22 at 5:08 pm

  15. My understanding is that the guys who have been DFA’d/outrighted and cleared waivers are now exempt from Rule 5, right? And so are the minor-league free agents if they re-sign?


    15 Nov 22 at 5:13 pm

  16. Looking back through Irvin’s game log:

    He didn’t get reinjured; he was just babied coming back from TJ in 2021. He was really good through May but then faded.

    As I recall, Irvin (a U of OK teammate of Cavalli’s, with better college stats), was considered a likely 2d round pick until a bad NCAA tourney outing. He seemed like a steal falling to the Nats in the 4th round . . . but then so have many others . . .


    15 Nov 22 at 5:26 pm

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