X-rays show progress in Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s fractured fibula

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Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka broke his left fibula earlier this month when Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher upended him on a broken double play attempt at Minnesota’s Target Field.

The Japanese infielder is still a couple weeks from returning to the Twins’ major league lineup, but he is making steady progress.

Robert Falkoff of MLB.com brings word that Nishioka underwent a round of check-up X-rays on Saturday that showed significant healing.

Here’s Twins assistant trainer Dave Pruemer:

“Nishioka’s X-rays showed good healing. We’re progressing him to more land-based exercises and baseball activities. “The next few days, we’ll see how it goes.”

Nishioka has been taking swings in a batting cage and has played long toss on several occasions, but he is not yet fielding ground balls and is obviously not ready to begin a running program. The infielder posted a .208/.269/.250 batting line, one double and two RBI through his first 26 plate appearances.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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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 National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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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 West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics