Found March 07, 2012 on The Nats Blog:

teahenSpring Training games are well underway, and there are a host of new Washington Nationals non-roster invitees you might not know. Most of these non-roster invitees have been picked up to be roster fillers, and most have little-to-no chance of making the team.  Despite this fact, it’s always nice to recognize and know a little bit about those guys.  Here are five of those players that fans will get a glimpse of during this Spring Training.

1.  Jarrett Hoffpauir

Signed by Washington on December 14 to a minor league contract, Jarrett Hoffpauir has appeared in five spring training games so far, going 0-for-5.  In seven seasons since was drafted by the Cardinals, Hoffpauir has played with three different teams spending the majority of his time in the minors with only 21 games in the majors.  While his stats in the minors have been decent with a .285/.366/.428 stat line, he has disappointed in the majors with a .217/.308/.283 slash line.   Look for Hoffpauir to get time at second base when Espinosa gets a break in the late innings.

2.  Jeff Fulchino

Thirty-two year-old reliever Jeff Fulchino signed with the Nationals on December 16 after leaving the Astros for free agency. Drafted by the Marlins in 2001, Fulchino has seen a good amount of time in the majors with four different teams.  In 178.1 innings pitched over 5 years of service, he has accumulated a career 4.84 ERA with a 1.464 WHIP and 162 strikeouts.  Fulchino has thrown two innings for the Nats this spring, posting a 1.00 WHIP with no runs scored against him yet.  With the Nationals’ deep bullpen, Fulchino will have a hard time breaking into the majors, but where there are injuries, there is a chance.

3.  Waldis Joaquin

Waldis Joaquin threw two innings of shutout baseball on Monday, March 5 and earned the save. The San Francisco Giants signed the now 25 year-old from the Dominican Republic as a free agent in 2003.  In seven full years in the Giants system, he has a career 3.50 ERA in 293.1 innings pitched.  His major league debut occurred in 2009 but his appearances have not produced consistent results.  In three years and only 21.2 innings he has given up 13 earned runs along with walking 17 batters.  Joaquin signed with the Nationals as a free agent on the same day that Jarrett Hoffpauir signed. Realistically, Joaquin has no chance of making the major league club, but he will see a lot of time in either AAA or AA.

4.  Mark Teahen

The most experienced player out of this bunch, 30 year-old Mark Teahen has seen 7 years of major league time with three different teams playing almost every position.  Averaging a .264/.327/.409 career slash line in the majors, Teahen probably has the best chance of these five players at making this team because of his versatility.  Early in his career, he posted impressive numbers with the Kansas City Royals, but those numbers have since tapered off.  In three games this Spring Training, Teahen has already seen six at-bats but has failed to record his first hit.  Depending on his performance this spring, Teahen may be put into the competition for one of the Nationals’ final bench spots if any injuries occur.

5.  Andres Blanco

Andres Blanco has started his spring going 0-for-5 with one nice defensive play.  The now 27 year-old, signed as a free agent in 2000 by the Royals, has played 6 years in the majors with three different teams.  In 235 games, he has a .255/.301/.333 slash line with 77 stolen bases while playing numerous positions.  Blanco will have to play great to overcome Teahen in the battle for one of those final bench spots, but he has an outside shot.

There are plenty of other unknown players in Nationals camp this year, but there is one thing that makes this list of five players great.  Two or three years ago, most of these guys would have been locks for the Nationals 25-man roster.  With the Nats improvements in every aspect of their roster, from position players, to pitchers, to bench players, DC baseball fans are finally seeing what they’ve hoped for for years.


2012 MLB Team Preview: Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals Logo As the Washington Nationals head into their eighth season, they finally have something to get excited about. What started last off-season by signing Jason Werth, the ownership has continued that they want this team wants to contend now. The franchise’s best divisional finish was in 2011, as they placed third place in the NL East with an 80-81 record just...

Nationals scratch Bryce Harper from spring start

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was a last-minute scratch from Thursday's game against the Houston Astros. A team spokesman said the 19-year-old had left-calf tightness and is listed as day-to-day. He could be seen in the dugout during the game. Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, is getting a chance to win the starting right field job this spring...

Ryan Zimmerman Player Projection No. 33

Key Stats: A career .288/.355/.479 bat, Ryan Zimmerman has posted WAR's over 7 in two of the last 3 years. He has this odd little roller coaster career path starting in 2006 of good year, good year, hurt, good year, good year then hurt. Of course that is just observation and not scientific law, but if the cycle holds up, Zimms will have a fine year in 2012. Of course I will probably...

DC station joins anti-Philly fun

The saga between the Phillies and Nationals has taken another turn. The Nats' flagship radio station is getting in on the act this time.

Nationals have asked about Jason Bourgeois

As the Washington Nationals continued their search for outfield help over the offseason, Bill Ladson of reports that the Nationals contacted the Astros about Jason Bourgeois three separate times since the Winter Meetings. Ladson notes that the teams are not close to a deal. Bourgeois if acquired, is not considered a long term solution at this time, even though he is coming...

Bryce Harper Scratched With Calf Tightness; Planets Collide

Right before the Washington Nationals spring contest with the Houston Astros, top prospect OF Bryce Harper was scratched with tightness in his left calf, according to the Nationals Public Relations Twitter account.  He is listed as day-to-day. Harper has had an impressive spring so far, going 5-for-11 in his first five exhibition games, as he competes against all odds to make the...

Melden, Braves outdueled by Gonzalez, Nats

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Gio Gonzalez pitched three scoreless innings in his Washington debut, leading the Nationals to a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Gonzalez, acquired in a trade during the offseason from the Oakland Athletics, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two. He was 16-12 last season with Oakland and had a 3.12 ERA. No other Nationals pitcher had more...

Bryce Harper finally got a day off...

(Hey, that's a photo of Bryce Harper with Peter Gammons, via @NationalsPR.) After playing in every game of the spring so far, Bryce Harper finally got a day off on Wednesday. And a well-deserved day off, too. Harper's aggressiveness apparently got the best of him on Tuesday; bet this won't be the last time you read those words over the next few years. Adam Kilgore...

Cardinals 3, Nationals 3

Jordan Zimmermann struck out three in three scoreless innings Wednesday as the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals played to a 3-all tie. Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn gave up a tying, two-run homer to Carlos Maldonado in the ninth. The game was called after nine innings. Zimmermann allowed three hits and walked one in his exhibition debut. St. Louis prospect Shelby Miller...

Nationals 5, Braves 2

Gio Gonzalez pitched three scoreless innings in his Washington debut, leading the Nationals to a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Gonzalez, acquired in a trade during the offseason from the Oakland Athletics, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two. He was 16-12 last season with Oakland and had a 3.12 ERA. No other Nationals pitcher had more than 10 wins last season. Jayson...

Nationals 8, Astros 0

Top Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was a last-minute scratch because of a tight left calf and Houston Astros starter Livan Hernandez left in the third inning after being hit by a line drive in a game won by Washington 8-0 Thursday. Ryan Zimmerman, whose liner hit Hernandez, had his first home run of the spring among his two hits and two RBIs. Nationals starter Edwin Jackson struck...

30-1 MLB countdown #20: Washington Nationals

30-1 MLB countdown #20 Washington Nationals Bookmark It Hide Sites $$('div.d32525').each( function(e) { e.visualEffect('slide_up',{duration:0.5}) });
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.