Mark Melancon is back on track at Triple-A, but when will the Red Sox call him back up?

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Boston demoted Mark Melancon to Triple-A after he went 0-2 with a 49.50 ERA in four appearances to begin the season, allowing 11 runs in two innings while opponents knocked him around to the tune of a .667 batting average and five homers.

It was about as bad as any big leaguer has ever pitched, but since the demotion Melancon has been brilliant for Pawtucket.

He’s yet to allow a run in 10 appearances at Triple-A and along with the 0.00 ERA he has 18 strikeouts versus zero walks in 10 innings.

Melancon has already spent nearly four weeks in the minors and considering how badly the Red Sox could use some bullpen help he’s seemingly made a pretty convincing argument for a return to Boston. Once there it’ll take him the rest of the season to bring that bloated ERA down into respectability, but it’d be tough for Melancon to pitch much better at Triple-A.

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