Jose Reyes to begin season on disabled list

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Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Jose Reyes will begin the season on the disabled list “despite feeling great making a headfirst slide into second base while playing against minor leaguers Wednesday.”
According to Rubin “team officials have concluded out of caution that Reyes ought to work into baseball shape deliberately and not be rushed for Opening Day” after missing three weeks of spring training because of an overactive thyroid.
Because the Mets can backdate his trip to the disabled list Reyes would be eligible to return on April 11, although there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll be ready to do so by then. Reyes’ last regular season game was May 20, 2009 and “he barely left his house while under the doctors’ orders to remain inactive.”
Veteran utility man Alex Cora is slated to start at shortstop in Reyes’ absence, while Daniel Murphy is out for 2-6 weeks with a knee injury and both Carlos Beltran and Kelvim Escobar have already been placed on the disabled list, so amazing as it may seem 2010 is quickly looking a lot like 2009 for the Mets.

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.