Schlosser Fighting for Bullpen Role
We see these articles every spring, where a pitching prospect looks impressive in bullpen sessions early spring training games and someone runs with the concept of him making the big league club. In this case, however, it could actually come to fruition.
Gus Schlosser has been impressive this spring and is looking at an outside shot for one of the spots in the back of the Braves bullpen, notes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Schlosser made 25 starts in Double-A last season.
Schlosser is a low-ceiling pitcher whose best trait is his ability to pound the strike zone which could make him a valuable asset as a long-reliever. He could also be used as a right-handed specialist, where his sidearm delivery creates matchup problems. That versatility could be enough to skip him over Triple-A and earn him a major league bullpen spot.
Walters Works at Second
The Washington Nationals are going to begin to work shortstop prospect Zach Walters out at second base, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The work would have begun on Wednesday but Walters was scratched with flu-like symptoms.
Walters has played primarily shortstop in the minors, with some time coming at third base, but an opportunity to work him in at second base seemed inevitable, not because his defense was lacking at the other two positions, but because it is his versatility that could earn him a roster spot this spring. The Nationals are set at shortstop and third base, but second base is an open competition between last year's rookie Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa. Rendon can also play third base and the Nationals have toyed with the idea of letting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman spend some time at first base. All of these moving parts create a need for versatile infielders, and Walters fits the bill.
Walters is likely major league ready, having spent the 2013 season in Triple-A. In addition to being able to play all three infield spots, he also is a switch-hitter with above-average power, further adding to his value in a bench role. Walters could man a super-utility role for the Nationals this year in which he plays 2-3 days per week when starters need days off throughout the year.