It's family day at MLB.com

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These two stories in the headline stack over at MLB.com today make me think that there was a memo sent around last week or something:

1. Family roots keep Hairstons grounded;

2. Family keeps Prince grounded:

The Hairston story is more interesting simply because I don’t know as much about the Hairstons as I do Prince Fielder. But the Fielder one is interesting too in light of stuff like this from Fielder’s wife Chanel regarding Prince’s contract status:

“I think the team is in such a different place now than it was a couple
of years ago, I don’t think it should be as scary. We obviously want to
stay. There have been days that Jadyn has come home from school after
hearing kids say that Prince is going to be traded and he says, ‘Dad, I
don’t want to go anywhere else!’ We’re comfortable, and I have met so
many wonderful people in Milwaukee.”

I hate to see stuff like that. Whenever I hear it I think the people are just saying it for PR purposes (though I’m not necessarily accusing Chanel Fielder of that here). I also anticipate that someone will bookmark it and, in the likely event that Fielder leaves the Brewers in free agency, will drag it out and say stuff like “what about your wife and kids, Prince?” and accuse him of being a mercenary or something.

I know the reporter has to ask those sorts of questions in a feature like this, and I know that Chanel Fielder is no shrinking violet, but baseball is a business not unlike sales or anything else, and sometimes business considerations mean you gotta move. Hate to see the wife and kids dragged into it.

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.