LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Nationals made their third round of cuts Monday morning, optioning outfielders Eury Perez and Steven Souza Jr. to Triple-A Syracuse and left-hander Sammy Solis to Double-A Harrisburg.
The club also reassigned infielder Mike Fontenot, outfielder Brian Goodwin and catcher Koyie Hill to Minor League camp. Hill was later traded to the Phillies for a player to be named or cash considerations.
Of the players sent down, Souza was most impressive, going 11-for-31 (.355) with a team-leading three home runs and five RBIs. Two of those homers came Sunday against the Astros. Souza will likely be the everyday right fielder for Syracuse.
Goodwin, who is considered by many to be Washington's center fielder of the future, was in his first Major League camp, going 5-for-25 (.200) with a home run and five RBIs. Goodwin, the Nats' No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com, must hit on a consistent basis to reach the Major Leagues. Last year for Harrisburg, he hit .252 with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and a .355 on-base percentage.
There was talk of Solis coming out of the bullpen for the big league club this year, but he was bothered by back issues and pitched in only two games.
Perez will enter his eighth season in the Minor Leagues. He has already proven that he can hit Minor League pitching and may need to be traded to get a chance to play in the big leagues. Perez went 6-for-23 (.261) this spring and struggled in the outfield.
Fontenot didn't hit enough to stay in Major League camp, going 2-for-19 (.105), but he did drive in eight runs.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less