Jose Fernandez expected to require season-ending elbow surgery

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UPDATE: The news just keeps getting worse. According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins anticipate that Fernandez will need season-ending surgery on his right elbow. Presumably we’re talking about Tommy John surgery here.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the injury involves Fernandez’s elbow, not his shoulder. And while there have been some recent examples to the contrary, Tommy John surgery still has a very high success rate. The injury is a tough blow to the Marlins, but Fernandez doesn’t even turn 22 until July. Here’s hoping he’ll be dominating major league hitters again at some point in 2015.

6:39 p.m. ET: Gulp. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Fernandez is going on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain. He complained of discomfort after his start on Friday. This situation doesn’t sound particularly promising, as a “sprain” indicates the possibility of ligament damage and the worst-case scenario of Tommy John surgery, but results of the MRI are still pending. Stay tuned.

6:00 p.m. ET: Ominous news this evening for Marlins fans — and really, all baseball fans — as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that right-hander Jose Fernandez is expected to be placed on the disabled list. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he was sent for an MRI in Los Angeles.

Fernandez had a rare clunker in his most recent outing on Friday against the Padres, allowing six runs (five earned) in five innings, but he was feeling sick before the game. While his fastball velocity was down some, he said that his arm was perfectly fine.

Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel passes along word that Marlins manager Mike Redmond is expected to address the situation at 6:30 p.m. ET, so we should have more information soon. Hopefully it’s not a big deal. Fernandez is truly a joy to watch regardless of your rooting interest.

Fernandez, 21, has compiled a 2.25 ERA and 257/71 K/BB ratio over his first 224 1/3 innings in the majors.

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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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.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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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.