MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York

MLB accused of “bullying” witness in Biogenesis case

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MLB will reportedly receive cooperation from Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch in their investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, but they aren’t having as much luck with one of his former associates. In fact, the attorney for Carlos Acevedo is accusing MLB of “bullying” his client, per this report by Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com.

The attorney for Carlos Acevedo, who along with Bosch and three others was named in a civil suit brought by MLB in March, told “Outside the Lines” he has filed a motion to have his client dismissed from the suit. Martin Beguiristain expects his motion to be heard Wednesday in a Miami-Dade County circuit court.

Acevedo, a former partner with Bosch in a wellness clinic, could presumably be helpful to baseball in supporting and corroborating information presented by Bosch, who even MLB officials acknowledge has credibility issues. The two worked together at Biokem, located in the same Coral Gables office that eventually would house Bosch’s Biogenesis of America clinic.

Beguiristain said he has spoken with MLB officials within the past week, but they never have met with Acevedo. Nor have they presented an offer similar to what Bosch received for his cooperation.

As for the “bullying,” Beguiristain claims that baseball has gone out of its way to antagonize his client and other defendants in the civil suit. This includes MLB allegedly sending investigators to Acevedo’s house who are “threatening” and “intimidating” him.

Beguiristain expects to successfully argue for his client’s dismissal from the suit on the grounds it’s frivolous and that baseball committed an error by not naming the MLB Players Association. He also said that if the matter gets to a hearing Wednesday, his client is unlikely to ever cooperate with MLB.

Getting Acevedo to cooperate in the investigation would obviously add some credibility to Bosch’s testimony, but MLB reportedly has “tons” of other witnesses at their disposal.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.

Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery could share Cubs’ rotation spot in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Mike Montgomery #38 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).

Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.

Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.

Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.