Stephen Strasburg gets Opening Day start for Nationals

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For the third straight season the Nationals have turned to Stephen Strasburg as their Opening Day starter, choosing him over Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann.

“He’s earned it,” rookie manager Matt Williams told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, noting that he also gave serious consideration to Zimmermann.

Last season Strasburg threw 183 innings with a 3.00 ERA and 191/56 K/BB ratio, while Zimmermann–who will start Game 3 of the season after Gonzalez takes the mound in Game 2–threw 213 innings with a 3.25 ERA and 161/40 K/BB ratio.

Ultimately the order of a rotation matters little and the Nationals have perhaps the best collection of front-line starting pitching in the league, especially if Doug Fister gets healthy soon and joins the mix as the No. 4 starter.

Announcement: HardballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Opening Day’s games (March 31). It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 1:05pm ET on Opening Day. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Angels acquire Jabari Blash from the Yankees

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The Yankees announced on Wednesday that the club traded outfielder Jabari Blash to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Blash, 28, was acquired by the Yankees from the Padres back in December in the Chase Headley trade. In trading Blash to the Angels, the Yankees were able to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for Brandon Drury, the infielder they acquired as part of a three-team trade with the Diamondbacks and Rays on Tuesday.

Over parts of two seasons in the majors, Blash has hit an underwhelming .200/.323/.336 in 279 plate appearances. He will try to play his way into a bench role for the Angels this spring.