Now that Starlin Castro is up, is Mike Stanton next?

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Mike Stanton.jpgDuring an interview with Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald on Friday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria had some high praise for prospect outfielder Mike Stanton and hinted that we will see him in the majors very soon.

“He could hit 500 home runs. When he’s ready to come, he’s going to be
here. When he’s ready and the baseball people tell me he’s ready to do
it, we’ll do it. I gather the baseball people don’t want him to come and
fail. If he’s going to come here, he’s going to come here to stay. We
always want to provide the foundation for success, not temporary
success.He’ll probably be here this summer, that’s all I can tell you.
He’ll be very exciting to come around. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of
pressure to put on a 20-year-old man.”

Stanton, 20, is batting .340/.477/.840 with an incredible 14 home runs and 31 RBI in 100 at-bats with Double-A Jacksonville this season. His OPS? 1.317! His home run on Thursday? Yeah, it just landed.

As for the current Marlins outfielders, they’ve combined to hit just four home runs in 370 plate appearances entering Friday’s action. Stanton still strikes out a little too much, but he’s at least balanced his 31 strikeouts with 26 walks. But he’s a little less likely to be feared in the major leagues, at least initially. In any case, you can bank on seeing him in the bigs after Memorial Day.
 

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.