Ryan Franklin says former teammate Brendan Ryan was routinely late with Cardinals

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When the Cardinals shipped Brendan Ryan off to the Mariners in December, we heard rumblings that the gifted gloveman had fallen out of favor with some of his teammates. Now we have some of the details.

According to Gerry Spratt of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin said during an appearance on KFNS 590 in St. Louis earlier today that Ryan was repeatedly late for buses and practices with the club last season.

“If you’re tardy once, don’t be tardy again,” Franklin said. “But it just kept happening. Veteran guys, we see a two-or-three-year guy do that, that doesn’t sit well, it just doesn’t. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be done.”

The closer said the Cardinals liked Ryan just fine, but that he wouldn’t necessarily be missed in St. Louis.

“Yeah, sure. All right. I’ll miss giving him a hard time.”

The Cardinals may have overlooked those incidents if Ryan remained productive with the bat, but he finished last season with a .223/.279/.294 batting line and a feeble .573 OPS. Only Cesar Izturis had a lower OPS among players with at least 450 plate appearances last season.

Ryan is projected to open the 2011 season as the starting second baseman in Seattle, but he’ll likely move into a timeshare with Jack Wilson at shortstop once top prospect Dustin Ackley is deemed ready for the big leagues.

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.