"All of them proved they could play up here," manager Davey Johnson said. "But we are getting close [to Opening Day]. They need to get ready for their seasons."
Michaels, who plans to continue his professional baseball career, became expendable once Johnson decided on Wednesday that Xavier Nady would be given a chance to make the team as a bench player. Michaels was 9-for-37 (.243) with a homer and seven RBIs.
"I told him he had nothing to prove to me with the bat. It just wasn't quite a fit," Johnson said about Michaels. "I would have killed [to have him] last year. ... I like him. I like his makeup. I like what he brings to the ballclub, but it wasn't quite there for him."
Michaels had nothing but praise for the Nationals, stating they are a team on the rise in the National League East.
"I understood going in that nothing is a lock," Michaels said. "I had to work my way on the team. I'll tell you: This is a great team, a lot of talent. I guess I wasn't the right fit. But I was very gracious for the opportunity to come here and compete."
Asked if he felt Nady was the reason he was let go, Michaels said: "I didn't even think about that. He is a good player. I played with him in Pittsburgh."
Blanco played great defense around the infield, but was 2-for-32 (.063) this spring. His departure gives Steve Lombardozzi a greater chance to make the 25-man roster. Johnson didn't give any guarantees that Lombardozzi would make the club as a bench player. Entering Thursday's action, Lombardozzi is hitting .302 and leads the team in hits.
It's a given that infielder Mark DeRosa and catcher Jesus Flores will be on the bench, while Johnson continues to show an admiration for outfielder Brett Carroll.
Severino allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings. His chances of making the team were slim due to the great talent in the bullpen. The same can be said for Perry, who allowed a run in eight innings with nine strikeouts.