Tim Raines is not going to be on the list of names (er, probably name) when the Hall of Fame inductees are announced on Monday. But as we’ve argued over and over again around here, he should be. But he has time. Like Bert Blyleven, it will take some years and some persuading and eventually — hopefully — the voters will see the light.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle has seen the light. And I want to highlight it just so that the anti-Raines camp can’t do what so many anti-Blyleven types used to do and claim that it was just a cabal of deranged bloggers who pushed his candidacy. The part I want to highlight is this:
Hall of Fame leadoff hitter Lou Brock, whose career steals crown was swiped by Henderson, reached base fewer times than Raines (3,833) and had a lower on-base percentage (.343) and lower stolen-base success rate (75.3 percent). In fewer plate appearances, Raines had more homers and RBIs.
As Shea notes, Raines suffers because he wasn’t Rickey Henderson. Well, duh, no one was except Rickey Henderson. He is in the inner-circle of the inner-circle of all-time greats. But Lou Brock is a Hall of Famer too. And if there’s room for him in Cooperstown, there has to be room for Raines too, doesn’t there?
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.
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.