Ryan has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for opener

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Brendan Ryan annoyed the Cardinals by undergoing wrist surgery just two weeks before the start of spring training, but arrived at camp today and told reporters that “there’s no doubt” he’ll be ready for Opening Day:

If Game 7 [of the World Series] were tomorrow, it’s like no hesitations. There’s a little bit of inflammation in there but we’re talking about a little less than two weeks after surgery. I feel like it’s close. I’m ahead of the game, I would think. But we’re going to be careful. This has been bothering me for a long time. We’re going to make sure we get the range of motion. The most important thing right now is working through scar tissue.

Ryan has yet to begin swinging a bat, but had the cast removed last week and has “been doing a little bit of throwing with a weighted rubber ball.” Julio Lugo and Tyler Greene will get most of the shortstop reps in his absence during spring training and Lugo is the favorite to start on Opening Day if Ryan isn’t ready.

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.