Nationals option RHP Joe Ross to Triple-A, set 25-man roster

WASHINGTON -- Right-handed starter Joe Ross was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was reassigned to minor league camp as the Washington Nationals finalized their opening-day roster.

Sunday's moves mean infielder Wilmer Difo and outfielder Michael A. Taylor made the roster.

The Nationals do not need a fifth starter right away, so by sending Ross to the minors they have a spot for an extra position player.

The initial 25-man roster includes seven relievers -- three are lefties -- two catchers, seven infielders and five outfielders.

Five of the players were not on the NL East champions last season: center fielder Adam Eaton, catcher Matt Wieters, first-baseman-outfielder Adam Lind, right-hander Joe Blanton and left-hander Enny Romero.

The Nationals open Monday at home against Miami.