VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals announced their second round of cuts after Thursday's 8-5 loss to the Yankees. The Nationals optioned right-hander Yunesky Maya to Triple-A Syracuse and outfielder Eury Perez to Double-A Harrisburg.
The team also re-assigned right-handers Jeff Fulchino and Waldis Joaquin to Minor League camp. Of the players demoted, Maya and Perez are the biggest names. Maya has been a disappointment since he signed a four-year deal worth $8 million in 2010. In 15 games, Maya was 1-4 with a 5.52 ERA.
Perez had an impressive Spring Training, going 6-for-18 [.333] with an RBI and four runs scored. General manager Mike Rizzo said Perez could be the team's future center fielder.
"Eury Perez is just scratching the surface," Rizzo said. "He is one of our guys that we feel down the road could be our long-term answer in center field. He is a guy that is going to go back to the Minor Leagues and work on his craft."
The Nationals currently have 41 players in their big league camp.
Gorzelanny pleased with latest spring effort
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander Tom Gorzelanny had his best outing of the spring in a 6-5 loss to the Braves on Wednesday night. He pitched three shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out five batters.
Gorzelanny said he felt better on the mound than he did in his previous two outings. In those outings, Gorzelanny allowed seven runs in two innings, with five walks.
"It's good to show that each time out there, I'm feeling better and better, more comfortable," Gorzelanny said. "I feel good about it."
Gorzelanny is expected to be one of the long relievers out of the bullpen, but he prefers to be a starting pitcher and a short man out of the bullpen. Last season, Gorzelanny was productive as a long reliever. He had a 2.42 ERA in 15 games in the role.
"I like the relief role, I don't know so much about long relief," Gorzelanny said. "There are times you become a long reliever, sometimes you get in the game where it's early, you give up a bunch of runs, or late in the game, where we are ahead by a lot and cleaning up innings. It's not the role I want to be in. I would like to have a part. I don't want to be the guy who throws every 10 days or something. I want to go out there and be counted on every game."
Lannan feels good despite results vs. Yanks
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander John Lannan made his second appearance this spring in a 8-5 loss to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon.
Lannan pitched four innings and allowed six runs -- four earned. After Lannan entered the game, he retired six of the first seven batters he faced, but then he had a problem getting hitters out during the next two innings. Lannan, who has never pitched in relief in a Major League game, said he simply kept the ball up in the strike zone.
"I felt good. I got my work in," Lannan said. "I'm not used to coming in in the third inning. I tried to do my best to follow my routine. It's something I've never done before. ... I felt really good in the bullpen, I really felt good in those first two innings, but something happened in the third and fourth. I got my work in, but I wasn't happy with it at all."
Morse, Ramos getting some time to heal
VIERA, Fla. -- Michael Morse is expected to be out a few more games because of a right lat (back) strain. There is no timetable for when he will be back on the field. Morse did not play in a Minor League game on Thursday.
Morse is able to swing the bat, but the strain creates problems throwing the baseball. Morse has played three games this spring and is 2-for-7 (.286) with an RBI.
Catcher Wilson Ramos missed Thursday's game against the Yankees because of a right heel injury. Ramos hurt the heel running the bases against the Tigers on Tuesday night. The injury is not considered serious. With Ramos out, Jesus Flores will most likely get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate.
Ramos is expected to be the designated hitter and bat fourth against the Yankees on Friday.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.