After Martin Perez suffered a forearm fracture when he was hit by a comebacker on Sunday, there was immediate speculation that the Rangers could make a play for free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse. But it’s not going to happen.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was given this firm denial from a Rangers’ source today:
“We are not going to sign Kyle Lohse. I can’t be clearer than that.”
Lohse had a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts with the Cardinals last season, but he has failed to garner much interest this winter because he is tied to draft pick compensation. Still, that hasn’t stopped his agent, Scott Boras, from trying to land a three-year deal and a “big” annual salary.
As for now, Robbie Ross appears to the the favorite for the fifth spot in the Rangers’ rotation. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed one run over four innings this afternoon against the Cubs and has a 3.00 ERA over nine innings of work this spring.
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.