While you were grilling, we were blogging. Here's what you missed

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There’s something simultaneously uplifting and disturbing about the fact that — based on blog traffic patterns anyway — the vast majority of you read HardballTalk at work.

Uplifting because it stands as evidence that thousands upon thousands of you are not content to kowtow to The Man and limit your online reading to trade publications and stuff that helps build the business that makes his boat payment. Disturbing in that I’m sure a healthy number of you are doctors and engineers and teachers and stuff, and our society rather depends on you staying on task and doing a good job. But hey, if you don’t read about baseball online I don’t eat, so I won’t think about it too much.

Anyway, the point of this is that I know that a great many of you were offline for the holiday yesterday and missed some of the totally boffo licks HBT threw down. Such as:

  • Killer Bs! Well, maybe it wasn’t a killer B, but it could definitely have left a nasty gash.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled work week.

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.