Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that right-hander Julio Teheran will start Opening Day for the Braves when they take on the Brewers on March 31.
Kris Medlen was originally expected to get the call for the Braves, but he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week, leaving Teheran as the obvious choice for the assignment. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t officially announced the rest of his rotation, but Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia, and David Hale are the expected names. Ervin Santana could make his season debut on April 9 while Mike Minor should be ready to come off the disabled list by the second half of April.
Teheran, 23, posted a 3.20 ERA and 170/45 K/BB ratio over 185 2/3 innings last season and finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He agreed to a six-year, $34.2 million extension with the Braves last month.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.