The Nationals re-assigned catcher Carlos Maldonado to minor-league camp following today's game against the Cardinals in Jupiter, trimming their roster by one and ensuring Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores will open the season as their only true catchers.
Maldonado, 33, had a strong camp, hitting .353 (6-for-17) with a double, a homer and four RBI. His only hope of heading north with the team, though, would have been either an injury or a trade. Despite some speculation Flores could be moved to another club in search of a catcher, the Nationals elected to keep him as Ramos' backup.
Maldonado will report to Class AAA Syracuse, where he will share catching duties with Jhonatan Solano.
The move officially leaves 33 players in big-league camp, but that includes five players expected to open the season on the disabled list: Michael Morse, Drew Storen, Chien-Ming Wang, Chris Marrero and Cole Kimball.
Thus, only 28 healthy players remain, though that list still includes center fielder Rick Ankiel (who may not be ready to open the season due to a lingering quad injury). There's a good chance the Nationals will bring all of those players north to Washington following tomorrow's Grapefruit League finale against the Red Sox due to the uncertain status of several of those injured players.