Denard Span cleared for rehab assignment after concussion

1 Comment

Out for the past six weeks with a concussion, Twins center fielder Denard Span told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he’s been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

There’s no word yet on where Span will be rehabbing or how long the stint is expected to last, but given the struggles Justin Morneau had coming back from his concussion last season the Twins are sure to play it very safe with Span’s timetable.

In his absence Ben Revere has taken over as the everyday center fielder, but his standout defense has come with a modest .310 on-base percentage and .309 slugging percentage in 50 games.

Span was Minnesota’s best player prior to the concussion, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Twins keep Revere around alongside him in the outfield and, if that happens, which of them plays center field. Jason Kubel is also on the DL, but if at some point all of the Twins’ outfielders are healthy it’ll be a logjam that also includes Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer, plus Jim Thome at designated hitter.

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.