Astros will limit rookie Jordan Lyles to 165-170 total innings

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Jordan Lyles was called up to replace an injured Wandy Rodriguez in late May and has struck in the Astros’ rotation, but the 20-year-old’s workload figures to be limited down the stretch.

Brad Mills told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that Lyles likely won’t be allowed to throw more than 165-170 total innings this season between the minors and majors, as the Astros want to avoid a workload increase of more than 15-20 innings compared to last season.

Lyle has already throw 106 innings heading into today’s start against the Nationals, so if the Astros stick to their plan he has about 10 more starts left this season. Under the normal rotation schedule Lyles would make another 13-14 starts, so somewhere along the line he’ll have to be skipped a few times or removed from the rotation altogether in September.

By that point the only drama remaining in Houston’s season will be trying to avoid 100 (or maybe 110) losses, so the long-term health of a 20-year-old should certainly take precedence over winning a few more games.

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