The last thing a forlorn Kolten Wong wanted to do after getting picked off to end St. Louis’ Game 4 loss on Sunday was talk to reporters in front of his locker, but he stood up to the mics and answered questions anyway.
Wong, a rookie second baseman who pinch-ran for the hobbled Allen Craig, added that he had no intention of trying to steal with Carlos Beltran up in a two-run game; he was just trying to get his lead for the pitch and hopefully go first to third or first to home on a base hit.
Of course, Wong was only on first base in the first place because Craig literally couldn’t run; his shot to right field with one out in the inning would have been a double for practically any hitter in the league. Something else that could have ruled Wong out; he seemed like a nice choice to hit for Daniel Descalso starting the ninth before Craig came to the plate. Wong had a pinch-hit single and a stolen base in the Game 3 victory, though that was his only hit in six postseason at-bats. He was still a better bet than Descalso, who was 0-for-2 tonight and 3-for-21 for the postseason. Descalso grounded out to start the frame.
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.
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.