Cubs prospect Kris Bryant getting MRI on left big toe

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Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant made an early exit from a game Saturday at Triple-A Iowa, leading to speculation on blogs and Twitter that he might be on the way to the majors. But that’s not happening.

CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney reports that Bryant’s departure was because of an injury to his left big toe — something that has been lingering since the 22-year-old budding superstar fouled a ball off his foot early last week. X-rays taken Saturday at a local hospital in Des Moines came up negative, so Bryant is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday.

“He’s been dealing with it himself for the last couple of nights and sucking it up because he’s a freaking gamer,” Iowa manager Marty Pevey told reporters.

Bryant is batting .333/.440/.678 with 40 home runs and 103 RBI in 124 games this season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He is not expected to reach the major league level until sometime in 2015.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.