Phillies prospect Zach Collier, who was the team’s first-round pick in 2008, has been suspended 50 games by MLB after testing positive for an amphetamine.
The kicker: Today is his 21st birthday.
Collier is a left-handed-hitting outfielder who missed all of 2010 with injuries and spent this season at low Single-A, batting just .255 with a .328 on-base percentage and .349 slugging percentage in 112 games. He did swipe 35 bases, but was thrown out 13 times and managed just one homer while striking out 99 times.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Collier is the sixth Phillies prospect to be suspended this season, which is the most in baseball.
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
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
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.