MLB investigating Fielder's clubhouse charge

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princefieldernothappy.jpgCraig documented earlier today the story of Prince Fielder losing his mind and trying to go after Dodgers pitcher Guillermo Mota following last night’s game in Los Angeles.

Fielder had been plunked by Mota with the Dodgers leading 17-4 in the ninth inning. It may have been a retaliatory move by Mota, as L.A.’s Manny Ramirez and Juan Pierre had both been plunked earlier in the game.

Now from the Los Angeles Times comes a report that MLB is investigating the incident.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told the Times that Bob Watson, who is essentially the league’s vice principal, could announce any potential fines or suspensions by the end of the week.

“It’s usually pretty quick,” Courtney said. “They get the umpire report, Watson talks to whoever he feels is necessary and gets video of it if it’s available and then makes a decision.”

Interesting that he should mention video, because there is some here.

The video is kind of ho-hum, actually. Just a lot of words bleeped out and a bunch of Brewers milling around outside the Dodgers’ clubhouse. For sheer entertainment value, I wish the incident had gone down the way the Sporting News envisions it. Click here. It’s worth it.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.