Pitchers Nick Wells and Andre Scrubb are among the pool players the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros invited to begin training in preparation for the start of the Major League Baseball season July 23 or 24.

MLB teams had until 4 p.m. Sunday to submit a maximum of 60 players for their summer training camp rosters. Teams are allowed 30 players on their roster for the first two weeks of the season followed by 28 on the 15th day of the season and 26 two weeks after that.

In addition, the active roster can add a maximum of three additional taxi squad spots for road games. The taxi squad must include one catcher. The other two spots can either be pitchers or position players. 

The 60-member player pool is comprised of those on the 40-man roster and those on the non-40-man roster. 

Training camp begins July 1st and will be held at the MLB team’s home park. Those players who do not make the season-opening roster will be assigned to another training site where they will train and remain on standby for promotion to the big-league team.

Fredericksburg, Washington's High-A affiliate, is expected to serve as the Nationals' alternate training site for their non-active pool players.

With a minor league season unlikely, MLB teams needed something in place that allowed them a deep and flexible enough roster in case of openings caused by among other things injuries, trades or health concerns during the 60-game regular season followed by the postseason. 

Pro baseball players saw their seasons shut down in in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A third-round pick in 2014 out of Battlefield by Toronto, Wells has endured ups and downs in his pro career. He has yet to pitch above Class A in six seasons and has a career record of 21-34 and a 5.20 ERA with seven teams. He missed most of the 2019 season after suffering a fractured left wrist when he was hit by a 101 mile per hour line drive in April. He finished last season with low-A Hagerstown.

Wells was in his first spring training with the Nationals after Seattle traded him to Washington May 4, 2019 for right-hander Austin Adams. He was expected to start this season at Fredericksburg.

Wells was one of 36 pitchers named to the Nationals' player pool. 

Scrubb began as a non-roster invitee in the Astros’ 2020 major-league spring training camp. In four appearances, the 25-year-old reliever allowed one run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 4.2 innings. 

The Dodgers traded Scrubb to Houston last July. For the 2019 season, the right-hander went 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 41 games.

After Los Angeles selected Scrubb in the eighth round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft out of High Point University, he quickly developed into a prospect for the Dodgers. He’s been named to two all-star games at the Single-A and Double-A levels.

After returning home to New Jersey once the baseball season stopped, Scrubb worked out with other local pro baseball players Brandon Bielak (Astros), Nick Dini (Royals) and Brandon Martorano (Giants).

“I think it’s good for the game to start up when things have been so bad around the country,” Scrubb said. “Sports bring people together and that’s exactly what we need.”

David Fawcett is the sports editor for InsideNoVa.com. Reach him at dfawcett@insidenova.com


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