There has been some general friction between Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and some of his players this year. Specifically the younger ones who don’t feel they have a set role. We saw this over the weekend when David Buchanan and Domonic Brown both gave quotes criticizing Sandberg’s treatment of them. Buchanan for being taken out of a game before he thought he should be taken out and Brown over playing time.
Bob Brookover of the Inquirer has a message for those two:
Shut up and play. Be quiet and pitch.
That’s the free advice being offered here to all Phillies players and pitchers – especially the younger ones – who want to gripe about how they are being used by manager Ryne Sandberg.
You know me well enough by now to not be a huge fan of that kind of stance, but here I think I tend to side with Brookover. Neither Brown nor Buchanan are being misused by their manager. Or, if they are, it’s not in any truly significant way. Contrast this to how young prospects get buried on benches sometimes or are publicly called out on other times. That can be bad. Here? Sandberg may or may not doing the best he can, but if he’s not, it’s clear that the difference between the best and what he’s doing isn’t the difference between the Phillies being in first or last place. Or these players being All-Stars or not.
It’s been a crappy season in Philly. Lots of losing. No one is particularly happy. Sometimes, when you’re on a team where everything is crappy, you do best by not telling the media how your particular situation feels crappy on that particular day. You just endure it like the other 22 dudes on the team are enduring the same crappy situation. In silence or, short of that, voicing your displeasure when the clubhouse is closed to the press.
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.