Walters headlines latest round of Nats cuts

Walters headlines latest round of Nats cuts

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals made another round of cuts Thursday, sending pitcher Manny Delcarmen, first baseman Brock Peterson and infielder Will Rhymes to Minor League camp.

They also optioned pitchers Ross Ohlendorf and Christian Garcia, catcher Jhonatan Solano and infielder Zach Walters to Triple-A Syracuse.

Of the players sent down, Walters was the biggest surprise, as he was having a great spring, hitting .379. Walters was upset about the demotion and declined to comment. However, Manager Matt Williams said Walters is close to being in the big leagues, but shouldn't take his offense onto the field. Walters made two errors this spring.

"I encourage him to make sure that he leaves his at-bats in the dugout when he goes onto the field," Williams said. "That's important for a young player. That's hard to do because we are all feeling it. But he is on the verge of being a very good everyday big leaguer. So I was encouraged by his swing. I was encouraged by the way he competed. We say all these things about Zach and his power, his running ability and all that. What will keep him in the big leagues is his ability to play defense."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for 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.