Report: Ryan Braun is ready to come clean

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Friends of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun spoke to USA TODAY on the condition of anonymity. They said that Braun will soon come clean about everything and apologize to those who got hurt along the way.

From Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:

Braun, according to his friends, is ready to soon admit that he used performance-enhancing drugs in parts of the 2011 season, the reasons why he did it, and publicly apologize for the lies and deception.

His friends, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because Braun has yet to make the announcement, said he plans to apologize to everyone from Commissioner Bud Selig to urine collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. to his teammates and peers.

And for the first time, he will admit guilt.

The people close to Braun said he is eager to be the anti-Alex Rodriguez and is desperately trying to distance himself from the New York Yankees third baseman.

We learned earlier tonight that a former friend of Braun’s has filed a defamation lawsuit, ostensibly the latest bridge Braun has burned. It will be interesting to see if his new strategy will pay off, if it will help him regain the trust he lost over the last three years.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.