Edinson Volquez is on the comeback trail

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Edinson Volquez.jpgEdinson Volquez, who is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery last August, threw 60 pitches at Great American Ballpark on Friday, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“He looked great,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He threw
all his pitches. He really looked good.”

While he is on the disabled list, Volquez is concurrently serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Though he is not being paid, Volquez is allowed to go out on a minor league rehab assignment during the suspension, which ends on June 13. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Volquez is “probably” a few weeks away from that.

In the meantime, Volquez is scheduled begin pitching in extended spring training games in Arizona. The Reds hope to have him back sometime after the All-Star break, whether in late July or early August. It’s hard to expect much from him, but similar to what Tim Hudson did for the Braves last season, Volquez could provide a nice late-season boost if the Reds manage to stay in the race.

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.