Drew Storen gets first win, wears silver Elvis wig

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Drew Storen beat fellow 2009 first-round pick Stephen Strasburg to Washington by a few weeks and picked up his first big-league victory last night, for which he got not one but two shaving cream pies to the face from teammates.
Plus, as is customary for the guy Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan selects as the “player of the game” Storen donned a silver Elvis wig afterward. “The wig doesn’t look that good on me, but it’s great thing I’m wearing it,” Storen said. “I saw it before I came up here. I was really hoping I would be able to wear it.”
On a slightly less absurd note, Storen also talked about being asked to come into the game mid-inning and wriggle out of someone else’s jam: “I love it. I started doing that in college. I did it in the minor leagues. I love coming in with guys on base because of the pressure. I’m a big fan.” He’ll need to get over that enthusiasm for mid-inning jams once he becomes a closer, but for now it’s good to hear.
Storen was the 10th overall pick in last June’s draft following a great career at Stanford and blitzed through the minors with a 1.68 ERA and 64/11 K/BB ratio in 53.2 innings. After watching his first two big-league appearances, it’s easy to see how he was able to rack up those great numbers.
Storen has been exclusively a fastball-slider pitcher so far, with his fastball averaging 93.4 miles per hour and his slider clocking in at 83.7 mph. He’s thrown about three-fourths fastballs with one-fourth sliders and that combination is certainly enough to make him an elite reliever, but most scouting reports have also praised Storen for having a wide assortment of quality off-speed stuff.
In other words, expect to see him wearing the Elvis wig quite a bit.

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