Olney: Buck Showalter is the "heavy, heavy" favorite for the O's job

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Buster Olney says that Buck Showalter is the “heavy, heavy” favorite to be the Orioles’ next manager and handicapped the race thusly: “Showalter 1:2, Eric Wedge 6:1, Rick Dempsey 50:1, others 100:1.”

For his part, Heyman thinks Wedge is the favorite, though wouldn’t be surprised if Showalter got the gig.

Olney used to cover the Orioles at the Baltimore Sun and it wouldn’t shock me if he had better inside information on this.  Not that we’re dealing in state secrets here: Showalter and Wedge have been the two highest-profile interviews thus far. Not counting Bobby Valentine anyway, who has pulled himself out of the race.

I’ve said before that I’m not overly impressed with Buck Showalter — he gets too much credit for bringing up the mid-90s Yankees — but he seems like the best choice out of those being considered.

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.