No timetable for Johnny Cueto to resume throwing

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After Johnny Cueto was placed on the disabled list earlier this week with a lat strain, Reds manager Dusty Baker estimated that the right-hander would only have to miss around 3-4 starts. That could be overly optimistic.

Reds head athletic trainer Paul Lessard told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer today that there is not a set timetable for Cueto to resume throwing.

“We want to make sure he’s pain free, has a good range of motion and base of strength,” trainer Paul Lessard said. “He’s feeling good. It could be a couple of days. It could be a couple more.”

Cueto is eligible to return from the disabled list on April 29, but he’ll have to make quick progress to be ready by then. Lat injuries can be tricky, so the Reds will have a better idea on a timetable once they see how he responds to throwing.

Tony Cingrani was called up from Triple-A Louisville to fill Cueto’s spot in the rotation. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed one run over five innings against the Marlins tonight in his first major league start.

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.