Marlins tell Jarred Cosart: “Don’t swing the bat!”

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After coming over from the Astros at the trade deadline Jarred Cosart tweaked his back while swinging and running out an infield single in his Marlins debut on August 1, so when he returned to the mound last night 11 days later manager Mike Redmond had specific instructions: Don’t swing the bat.

Redmond wanted to make sure the 24-year-old right-hander wouldn’t aggravate the back injury while at the plate, so Cosart struck out looking on five pitches in his first at-bat and struck out looking on three pitches in his second at-bat, never taking the bat off his shoulder.

“I didn’t want him taking any swings that were going to hurt him,” Redmond told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Had we had him in a situation where we needed to score a run, we probably would have had to hit for him, knowing he hadn’t taken any swings. Fortunately, we didn’t get in that situation.”

The plan worked, too, as Cosart tossed seven shutout innings against Adam Wainwright in a Marlins victory over the Cardinals. And two of the Marlins’ three runs came when No. 8 hitter Donovan Solano homered off Wainwright with a base open that could have been used to walk him before pitching to the non-swinging Cosart.

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.