Following in Billy Wagner’s footsteps rather than Brett Favre’s footsteps, Mike Lowell reiterated yesterday that he still plans to retire after the season despite getting regular playing time recently in place of the injured Kevin Youkilis.
Am I personally enjoying it? Of course. That’s obvious. I have more fun playing than not playing. Yeah, it’s been much more enjoyable knowing your name’s being written in. I’m pretty much set in knowing what I’m going to do after this year. It will be fun. It will be fun enjoying my kids.
If reasonably healthy Lowell could almost surely stick around for another season or two as a part-time player, but at age 36 and with about $80 million in career earnings it’s tough to blame him for wanting to call it quits.
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
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
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.