By The Associated Press
March 21, 2013
VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg will make his second opening day start for the Washington Nationals when the National League East champions open the season at home against the Miami Marlins on April 1.
Strasburg went 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA last season before he was shut down after 159.1 innings. The Nationals did not want to tax his arm in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. The decision to keep Strasburg on an innings count with Washington headed to the playoffs was the subject of debate last season.
The Nationals lost to St. Louis in a deciding fifth game of the NL division series last season. There is no innings restriction planned for Strasburg this year.
GOMEZ AGREES TO NEW FOUR-YEAR DEAL: In Milwaukee, outfielder Carlos Gomez and the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a $28.3 million, four-year contract.
The 27-year-old outfielder would have been eligible for free agency after this season. He had agreed to a $4.3 million, one-year deal in January, and the new contract includes salaries of $7 million in 2014, $8 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016.
Gomez hit .260 with 19 homers and 37 stolen bases in 137 games in 2012. He was one of only five players in the major leagues with at least 15 homers and 30 stolen bases, joining teammate Ryan Braun, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, B.J. Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies.
TEAM PARTS WITH BOESCH: In Lakeland, Fla., the Detroit Tigers released outfielder Brennan Boesch on We4dnesday.
The 27-year-old tweaked an oblique muscle at the start of spring training and was hitting .188 (3 for 16) with no RBIs. He will receive 30 days’ termination pay, $377,049, rather than his $2.3 million salary.
Boesch hit .240 with 12 home runs in 132 games last year, then was left off the postseason roster. He missed the 2011 postseason because of a right thumb injury that required surgery.
Boesch was in the mix for playing time this season in left field, but Andy Dirks and Quintin Berry have been competing for time at that position. Detroit signed Torii Hunter during the offseason to play right field.
Hochevar headed to bullpen: In Surprise, Ariz., the Kansas City Royals sent former No. 1 overall draft pick Luke Hochevar to the bullpen after more than five seasons of shaky results in the starting rotation.
Manager Ned Yost announced the decision Wednesday.
Hochevar had been competing with Bruce Chen, Will Smith and Luis Mendoza for the fifth spot in the Royals’ revamped rotation his spring.
Hochevar, who is scheduled to make $4.56 million this season, is 38-59 with a 5.39 ERA. He’ll operate as a long reliever and could work back into the rotation, though it’s possible the Royals will seek to trade him or offer his release.
The Royals also placed right-hander Guillermo Moscoso on waivers Wednesday. He was claimed in November and was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three spring training appearance.
Murphy MOVES TO everyday ROLE: David Murphy is finally considered an everyday player for the Texas Rangers.
Only Michael Young and Ian Kinsler have appeared in more games than Murphy for the Rangers over the past six seasons. But until this spring, Murphy had long carried the tag as being a fourth outfielder.
Murphy says he approached this spring like every other since he knows his success last season has set him up as the starting left fielder.
Murphy played 147 games last year, with 118 starts in the outfield and seven more as the designated hitter. The left-handed hitter had a .304 average with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs.
Through his first 13 spring training games before the Rangers, Murphy hit .314.