Several players have bowed out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game this weekend due to injuries. Let’s recap:
Jose Reyes aggravated a right oblique injury on a long throw in Saturday’s game and will rest up instead of heading out to Anaheim, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. Reyes is hoping the All-Star break will allow him to avoid the disabled list. The Dodgers’ Rafael Furcal, batting .333/.373/.519, will replace him.
Justin Morneau suffered a mild concussion earlier this week and is still showing some minor symptoms. He bowed out Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, and Paul Konerko of the White Sox will replace him. Konerko has a .298/.379/.557 batting line, 20 home runs and 62 RBI through 289 at-bats.
Jason Heyward finally decided Saturday to remove himself from the National League All-Star roster, reports Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been rehabbing a bruised thumb for a few weeks and remains on the disabled list. A replacement has not been named, but do-it-all Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez seems like a nice fit. CarGo was on MLB’s “Final Vote” ballot, but lost out to Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
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.
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.