Adam Wainwright’s “modest goal” is to be on the Cardinals’ playoff roster

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Expecting to miss the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery during spring training, Adam Wainwright has progressed far enough in his recovery that the Cardinals right-hander is now hoping to pitch in 2011.

“My modest goal is try to talk them into letting me play on the playoff roster in October,” Wainwright told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, although he realistically pegged the chances of that happening as “probably bad.”

Tommy John surgery typically comes with a recovery timetable of 12-18 months, meaning Wainwright is no sure thing to be fully healthy by Opening Day of next season, let alone this October.

Of course, as Hummel points out one reason for Wainwright wanting to make such a speedy comeback is that his $9 million option for 2012 and $13 million option for 2013 would vest if he’s on the active roster at the end of this season. In other words, it ain’t happening.

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.