Beltre choosing comfort over safety

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Adrian Beltre, apparently, is a gambling man.

The Mariners third baseman is trying to work his way back from the disabled list after being sidelined by a bad-hop grounder to his man region, resulting in a “severely contused testicle.” OUCH.

Beltre took infield and batting practice today, and is eligible to return on Friday.

We’ve already discussed Beltre’s aversion to wearing a cup, the main reason for the severity of his injury.

But interestingly, Beltre, an excellent defender, is still choosing comfort over safety, telling The News Tribune that he would wear a cup “against my will, maybe.”

“I’ve tried before. It’s uncomfortable. I hated it. If it’s going to happen every 11 years of my career, I’ll take my chances.”

In the same story, Beltre says when he was injured, he thought “it exploded.”

Nothing against Beltre. He’s a tough customer, and a great defensive third basemen. But once things start “exploding,” that would be enough for me.

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If you Twitter, and you don’t mind Roger Dorn’s defense, feel free to follow me at @Bharks.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.