Our long national nightmare is over: Beltre wears a cup

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Adrian Beltre came to his senses and decided to start wearing a protective cup upon returning from the disabled list yesterday.
He confessed to never wearing a cup, but three weeks on the sidelines with a testicle injury caused by a ground ball apparently changed his mind.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has more:

Beltre is getting fed up with all the questions and jokes flying around the past three weeks since he injured a testicle while trying to field a ground ball without the proper equipment.
But while he says he’ll never answer that particular question again, manager Don Wakamatsu did the talking for him. “Adrian will wear a cup tonight,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s played his whole career without it, but we’re just talking about for the future. Making sure that everything stays intact. It’s important for him to do that.”

Beltre might be “getting fed up” with all the jokes, but his teammates apparently aren’t. Thanks to Ken Griffey Jr., when Beltre came to the plate last night for the first time the theme from “The Nutcracker” was played over the PA system.
I’m absolutely amazed that Beltre seemingly still had to be talked into donning a cup, because had the same gruesome thing happened to me I’d probably wear one 24 hours a day for the rest of my life. You know, just to, as Don Wakamatsu says, “make sure that everything stays intact.”

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.

Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.

Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.

The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.