Blue Jays upset that Dodgers denied their request to interview Tim Wallach

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Last week the Dodgers denied the Blue Jays permission to interview Tim Wallach for their managerial opening and Robert Macleod of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that “the Blue Jays organization is miffed at the Dodgers for their refusal to make Wallach available.”

Macleod quotes an unnamed Blue Jays “senior official” as saying that “it makes no sense” and questions why Wallach’s contract has a clause that allows him to interview for certain teams but bans him from talking to others.

Wallach agreeing to that stipulation certainly seems odd, especially since he was just passed over for the Dodgers’ job in favor of Don Mattingly. Right now he’s slated to be a member of Mattingly’s coaching staff, but even if Mattingly struggles in his first managing job it would be several seasons before Wallach was in line to potentially replace him.

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.