In a column published on Wednesday, Newsday’s David Lennon wrote that Yankees GM Brian Cashman expects to make a trade in the next few weeks. The Yankees enter Friday night’s action at 38-33 in second place in a mediocre AL East. They rank 10th in the American League in team OPS, seventh in rotation ERA, and 10th in bullpen ERA.
Lennon writes that the rotation is the area most likely to be upgraded, and the Yankees might be willing to part with prospects to do it. Lennon suggests that the club could make J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, and Rob Refsnyder available in their quest for a starter. Lennon adds that Cubs pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel might entice the Yankees.
Cashman told the media that CC Sabathia might not be ready to return until August. The Yankees’ rotation presently includes superstar Masahiro Tanaka who is having a ridiculous season (11-1 with a 1.99 ERA), but also features 39-year-old Hiroki Kuroda with a 4.32 ERA, Vidal Nuno (5.90), rookie Chase Whitley, and swingman David Phelps.
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.