Thursday marked the first -- and last -- cut down deadline of the 2020 baseball season.
Rosters need to be trimmed from 30 to 28, but will hold at 28 for the rest of the season as opposed to dipping to 26. Multiple coronavirus outbreaks have caused a multitude of scheduling problems. So, Major League Baseball decided to leave the rosters expanded for the remainder of the season.
The Nationals chose to send reliever James Bourque to the alternate training site in Fredericksburg and designated utility man Emilio Bonifácio for assignment.
These were simple and direct moves. The signing of Josh Harrison and Juan Soto's return meant Bonifácio was expendable. His upbeat vibe -- and creation of the trumpet celebration -- was not enough to keep him on the roster.
Borque pitched 1 ⅓ innings out of the bullpen. He was the last option among the large reliever group.
The expanded rosters allow the Nationals -- and everyone else -- to wade through the rest of the season with more pitching. It will be necessary to handle prospective doubleheaders and other scheduling problems the remainder of the season.
The Nationals are 4-5 after losing 3-1 to the New York Mets on Wednesday. They were off Thursday. Baltimore comes to Nationals Park for a three-game series beginning Friday.
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