Stephen Strasburg (lat) aiming to pitch Saturday vs. Twins

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Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was lifted from his start last Friday against the Braves because of a Grade 1 lat strain. But the hope is that he won’t even miss a full turn in the Nats’ starting rotation.

According to CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman, Strasburg is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and could be cleared to start Saturday against the Twins if the workout is issue-free. If it does not go according to plan, it’s possible that he will have to be placed on the 15-day disabled list

Strasburg has posted a 2.54 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 12 starts this season, fanning 73 batters and issuing 21 walks in 74 1/3 innings. He had a 3.16 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 197/48 K/BB ratio in 159 1/3 frames last year.

The Nats will start Gio Gonzalez on Thursday against the Mets and Nate Karns on Friday vs. the Twins.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.

Matt Boyd earns No. 5 spot in Tigers’ starting rotation

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Matt Boyd has earned the No. 5 spot in the Tigers’ starting rotation, which means veteran Anibal Sanchez will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reported on Wednesday.

Boyd, 26, pitched well this spring, compiling a 2.49 ERA with a 21/0 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings. The lefty’s numbers in the majors last year weren’t nearly as good.

Sanchez, 33, is coming off of the worst season of his career and overall didn’t have a great spring, putting up a 5.03 ERA with a 20/4 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. He came on strong at the end, however, tossing 14 consecutive scoreless innings. Manager Brad Ausmus didn’t rule out the possibility of Sanchez returning to the rotation at some point.