Albert Pujols was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable for his fractured wrist, but as you’d expect from someone who’s never played fewer than 143 games in a season he’s already talking about getting back in the lineup.
News that Pujols would likely be in a soft cast for four weeks seemingly ruled out a return at the front end of his timetable, but general manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that “everything is fluid” and there’s a CT scan scheduled for next week.
Pujols sounds doubly frustrated by the injury because it’s not something he can simply play through by being tough, which he’s done plenty of in previous seasons.
In his absence manager Tony La Russa indicated to Strauss that rookie Mark Hamilton will likely get at least a couple starts per week at first base, with Lance Berkman seeing the bulk of the time there and Jon Jay getting more action in right field.
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 Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
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 East
The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.
There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.
Here’s how each team breaks down:
New York Mets