Tigers will try to convert OF Anthony Gose to pitcher

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Anthony Gose

Lakeland, Fla. – Sean Doolittle did it. Kenley Jansen and Jason Motte did it.

The Tigers are going to see if Anthony Gose can do it, too.

Gose, the Tigers’ opening day starting center fielder the last two seasons, was re-assigned to minor league camp Sunday. He will still play outfield wherever he lands in the system this season, but he will also take initial steps to convert to pitcher.

“He came back to us with an idea – something that we had talked about internally and the end of last season,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s going to throw a couple of bullpens here and there. He was a guy who threw in the mid-90s in high school.

“Try it out and see what happens.”

Gose, who throws left-handed, was clocked by scouts in high school at 97 mph. Scouts and college recruiters both tried to convince him to pitch. He told them he wanted to play outfield first and use pitching as a fallback.

Michael Fulmer will start Tigers’ home opener

Nine years later, and after a season where his strikeout rate jumped over 30 percent and he was demoted twice down to Double-A, he’s going to test his fallback option.

“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.”

Twitter @cmccosky