Your annual "all hope is lost in the AL East" story

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It’s from Ken Rosenthal this year, who thinks that the rest of the AL East should “just give up.”  It’s less an argument than a rundown of the the deals the Red Sox and Yankees have made so far this offseason, and which Rosenthal thinks aren’t over yet (“I guarantee you, their outfield next season will not be
Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner”).

Look, I know it sucks really, really bad to be a fan of an AL East team that isn’t New York or Boston, but multiple people write this same article every year, and it’s a lazy exercise.

Lazy because it it ignores the fact that the Rays are a really, really good team from top to bottom. A team that, while they definitely underperformed last year, was in striking distance for a large part of the season.  A team whose fans certainly aren’t giving up.

Lazy because it assumes that Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are going to be effective forever. That Kevin Youkilis won’t take a little step back. That CC Sabathia or Jon Lester or anyone else won’t blow out his elbow.  I’m not suggesting that the Jays, Orioles and Rays need to pin their hopes on some disaster to win anything, but why is it so hard to analyze what actually happens in a given year as opposed to just assuming that what happened last year will happen next year?

The financial structure of the game is what it is, and for many fans, it’s depressing.  But if it’s so depressing that you “just give up” on following the games and rooting for your team, you may as not watch any baseball at all.

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.