Matt Wieters to be placed on disabled list Friday

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From Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun comes word that the Orioles plan to place young catcher Matt Wieters on the 15-day disabled list before their season resumes Friday against the Blue Jays.

Wieters, 24, strained his right hamstring just a few days before the All-Star break and did not make enough progress this week. The Orioles are expected to start Craig Tatum on most nights while Wieters is out and Jake Fox will back him up in the event of an emergency.  Josh Bell could be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to provide depth on the infield.

Wieters was considered a disappointment last season when he hit .288/.340/.412 with nine homers and 43 RBI in 354 at-bats after an early-season promotion to the big leagues.  This year, he has been worse. 

Through 269 at-bats, the former No. 5 overall pick has posted a .245 batting average, a .315 on-base percentage, six home runs and only 29 RBI.  The guy was a .343/.438/.576 hitter over a year-plus in the minor leagues and flashed power potential that has not at all translated to the majors.

He will be eligible to return from the disabled list on July 25.  Perhaps the rest will help.

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.