Neftali Feliz struck with line drive, should be fine

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The Rangers got a bit of a scare Sunday morning.

Neftali Feliz, who is trying to prove that he is ready for a spot in the starting rotation, took a Craig Gentry line drive off his lower left shin while throwing a live round of batting practice.

The 22-year-old crumbled to the ground, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, and remained there for several minutes while trainers checked on his leg. He eventually got up and walked to a cart on his own.

The Rangers gave him an X-ray that showed no breaks and early indications point to Feliz being just fine.

“I hope it’s not serious,” Texas manager Ron Washington said soon after Feliz left the field. “Pitchers get hit in the shin all the time. When I ran out there, he was laying on the ground, but by the time I got out there, he started to get up.”

Feliz posted a 2.73 ERA, 71/18 K/BB ratio and tallied 40 saves in 43 chances last season in a spectacular rookie campaign. The Rangers are thinking he might be able to become a starter this season and are grooming him as such in camp this spring. He should be over this shin bruise in a couple of days.

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.