The Tigers send Jacob Turner to Toledo

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Jacob Turner, the Tigers top pitching prospect entered spring training with a chance to become the fifth starter.  A bout with shoulder tendinitis derailed that, however.  Over the weekend Jim Leyland said that he still had a “slight chance” to win the fifth starter’s job, but that’s all over now, as the Tigers have optioned Turner to Toledo.

Sad for folks who get super duper excited about young pitching prospects (I’m kinda one, I’ll admit), but this is a good mood. Dude is 20. He looked great in double-A and triple-A last year, posting a 3.44 ERA and a 110/35 K/BB ratio in 131 innings. He was blown up in a late season callup to Detroit, however, and it would probably do him well to kick of the year with success than with a shellacking or two that me might expect as he gets his MLB legs.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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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 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:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National 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 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:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves