UPDATE: Bailey exits early with sore shoulder

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bailey throwing.jpgUPDATE: John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Bailey after Sunday’s game.  It sounds like he was pulled for precautionary reasons, and might be fine for his next scheduled start.

“They saw me trying to stretch out after (Shin-Soo) Choo’s triple,” he
said. “I wanted to stay in. They weren’t going to let that happen.”

3:44pm: Reds starter Homer Baily left Sunday’s game after just 2.1 innings due to tightness in his right shoulder, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.

The Reds are in the midst of a 20-game stretch without a day off and this injury may throw both the rotation and bullpen out of whack.  Bailey had strung together two impressive starts heading into Sunday’s action, but is still just 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA on the year for the NL Central-leading Reds.  He fired his first career shutout on May 12 against the Pirates.

Micah Owings replaced Bailey in the third inning and could be in line for a start later this week if the Reds don’t want to dig into their minor league system for a spot starter.  Aroldis Chapman has a blister and wouldn’t be an option anyway, in case some folks are thinking big.

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