Marrero's roster chances are slim

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero played in only 53 Minor League games last year as a result of an injury sustained in the 2011 offseason. He tore his left hamstring reaching for a ball while playing for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Winter League.

Marrero is considered a backup first baseman, and the chances of him making the Nationals' Opening Day roster are slim, because Tyler Moore is expected to fill this role.

Marrero, a first-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, made his Major League debut in late 2011, hitting .248 with 10 RBIs and playing solid defense at first base. Manager Davey Johnson was hoping that Marrero could display more power the next season, but the hamstring injury prevented that.

"My heart goes out to him, because I thought he was getting his feet wet and I thought he did a good job," Johnson said. "Then, he had that severe hamstring injury [during winter ball] and basically lost most of the year."

Johnson plans to give Marrero a serious look during the start of Spring Training.