Jason Bay to begin season on disabled list with rib injury

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No official move has been made yet, but Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Jason Bay “will almost certainly” begin the season on the disabled list with an intercostal strain in his left rib cage.

Bay flew back to New York to have the injury examined by doctors today and would be eligible to come off the disabled list as soon as April 9 thanks to the stint being backdated.

In the meantime Lucas Duda is expected to replace Bay on the roster and could split time with Scott Hairston in left field.

Duda entered last season as largely an unknown prospect, but the former seventh-round pick hit .304 with 23 homers, 40 doubles, and a .967 OPS in 115 games between Double-A and Triple-A before making his big-league debut in September. He bats left-handed while Hairston swings right-handed, so they could form a natural platoon.

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.