Wood's injury may be more serious than believed

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Kerry Wood was scratched from his scheduled appearance Saturday with a sore right lat muscle, but the Indians quickly announced Sunday that he was already back on track and would be able to throw a bullpen session today followed by game action Wednesday.
Unfortunately, those plans have changed. Wood did not throw a bullpen session today and manager Manny Acta seemed unsure about when the Indians’ closer would be ready to pitch again:

We’re going to take it easy with Kerry. The medical staff will put together a plan for him. We want to be careful. He’s our closer. He has plenty of time to get ready, and there’s no reason to rush him back out there.

Wood’s injury was initially dismissed as merely “spring training soreness” by the Indians, but obviously there’s something else going on at this point. As beat reporter Anthony Castrovince wrote as the lead to his MLB.com story: “It could be something, it could be nothing.”
All of which is why 24-year-old setup man and potential closer-in-waiting Chris Perez is one of my fantasy “sleeper” picks for AL-only leagues.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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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 Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National 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 National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves