Ideally, the Cardinals would have NLCS Game 4 starter Adam Wainwright available to start Game 1 or 2 of the World Series next week against Detroit.
But the Cardinals have to get to the World Series first, and so they’re not ruling Wainwright out for a relief appearance in a potential NLCS Game 7 on Monday against the Giants. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Matheny offered that using Wainwright in relief was at least a topic of discussion for the team, depending on how the next two days unfold.
“We’re still talking about that, but nothing in stone right now,” Matheny said. “I think it’s taking everything into account.”
Wainwright was shelled for six earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS versus the Nationals, but he’s been sharp in his other two postseason outings. The 31-year-old right-hander has a 20/3 K/BB ratio in 15 innings since the beginning of the playoffs. His curveball has been excellent.
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.
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.