Roy Halladay’s ugly afternoon: four walks, one grand slam, seven runs, and mid-80s velocity

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Last week when Roy Halladay topped out in the high-80s during his start some people brushed it off because he threw four scoreless innings despite the low velocity.

Today he continued to throw in the 80s and the results weren’t very pretty either. Halladay walked four batters in 2.2 innings, served up two homers–including a grand slam–and worked in the mid-80s with his fastball.

He failed to make it out of the third inning and allowed seven runs overall, hitting a batter and uncorking a wild pitch in addition to the four free passes. (Halladay has walked four or more batters in just three of his 90 regular season starts for the Phillies.)

Todd Zolecki, who has covered the Phillies for MLB.com throughout Halladay’s time in Philadelphia, summed it up: “Never seen him struggle like this before.”

I called our new resident Phillies fan Bill Baer for his thoughts, but I guess he couldn’t hear the phone ringing over his sobbing*.

* Note: Just kidding. I haven’t willingly called someone on the phone in like 10 years. What am I, some kind of monster?

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.