Padres ready to shut down Carlos Quentin for the season

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Carlos Quentin has been on and off the disabled list while playing just 50 games this season due to a spring training knee injury and Padres manager Bud Black no longer expects to him to return to the lineup this year.

Black told Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune “it’s looking more and more that his season might be over” even though the team believes he’ll be able to avoid a fourth knee surgery since they acquired Quentin in 2012.

That means he’ll have played 86, 82, and 50 games in three seasons with San Diego, yet the Padres liked Quentin enough midway through that first season to give him a three-year, $27 million contract extension. So they owe him $8 million for 2015 and $10 million or a $3 million buyout for 2016.

Quentin has been injured a lot throughout his career, but prior to this season he’d always maintained strong production whenever he was healthy enough to be in the lineup. That hasn’t been the case this season at age 31, when he’s hit .177 with four homers and a .599 OPS following four straight seasons with an OPS above .800.

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.