Buster Posey to make Cactus League debut Friday

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Buster Posey is back!  Or, he will be soon.

According to beat writer Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters Wednesday that he’s planning to have Posey catch “a few innings” in Friday afternoon’s Cactus League game against the Reds.

Posey was unable to return to action last season after suffering a fractured ankle in a late-May collision at home plate and has been taking it slowly in camp this spring. But he looked good running the bases on Tuesday and the Giants are no longer concerned about a potential re-injury.

“He’s fine,” Bochy said Wednesday. “It’s not the hitting or the catching. That’s no problem. He’s been catching ‘pens, doing all the drills. It’s just getting him running bases. He came out of it well.”

Posey, 24, has posted a .294/.353/.462 slash line and 22 homers through the first 160 games of his career.

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.