VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals made a pair of roster moves this afternoon, placing right-hander Christian Garcia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained forearm tendon and outrighting infielder Carlos Rivero to Class AAA Syracuse.
The Garcia DL move was anticipated because the right-hander had yet to appear in a Grapefruit League after injuring himself during early camp workouts, but the Rivero move did come as a bit of a surprise because it means the utilityman cleared waivers and was not claimed by another club.
Because he's out of options, Rivero was required to pass through waivers before being sent to the minor leagues. The Nationals talked up the utilityman this spring, and the sense was that another team would claim him if exposed. Instead, the Nationals get to keep Rivero in their system while also removing him from the 40-man roster.
Garcia had hopes of making the Opening Day roster out of the bullpen, or perhaps going to Syracuse to be a starter and potentially be called upon in Washington later in the season. But the right-hander experienced forearm pain following an early-camp bullpen session and never made it into an exhibition game.
The Nationals are hopeful Garcia can recover with rest -- he's already overcome two Tommy John surgeries in his career -- but he'll remain in Viera when the season opens and continue his rehab at extended spring training. The DL move is retroactive to March 22, the earliest such a transaction can be backdated.
Today's moves leave the Nationals with 31 players in big-league camp and 38 players on their 40-man roster with one week remaining until Opening Day.