Former Rangers owner Brad Corbett dies

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Former Texas Rangers owner Brad Corbett has died. The Long Island-born businessman who made his fortune selling PVC pip to the oil industry in Fort Worth owned the team from 1974 to 1980. He was 75.

Corbett’s tenure as Rangers’ owner was Steinbrennerian. He was the defacto GM. He signed a lot of free agents, but not many good ones, and traded for big names like Al Oliver and Bobby Bonds. He also went through a lot of managers, employing Billy Martin, Frank Lucchesi,  Eddie Stanky, Connie Ryan, Billy Hunter and Pat Corrales. Players came and went pretty darn fast in those days as well.

The team did, however, experience its most success up to that point during his stewardship, winning 94 games in 1977 and finishing above .500 four times. Ultimately, though, they were no match for the mid-to-late 70s Kansas City Royals and real success eluded the club.  Corbett sold the team in 1980.

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.