Chris Young doubles twice on rehab assignment, nears return to Diamondbacks

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Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young is close to coming off the disabled list after doubling twice in a minor-league rehab game yesterday at Single-A.

It was Young’s second rehab outing and he’s expected to play one more game for Visalia before moving his assignment to Triple-A. From there a return to the Diamondbacks could happen at any time.

Young has been out since April 18 with a partially torn shoulder ligament that came from slamming into the outfield wall making a great catch. In his place Gerardo Parra and rookie A.J. Pollock have split time in center field, leaving Jason Kubel to play every day in left field.

Incidentally, the box score for the Single-A game Young played in yesterday is insane: He went 2-for-5 with three RBIs despite only playing a few innings and his Visalia team allowed 11 runs on 19 hits … and won by 15 runs. Seriously, it was a 26-11 game. Parents, don’t let your kids grow up to be California League pitchers.

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