Emilio Bonifacio out 4-6 weeks after thumb surgery

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So much for those initial reports that an MRI exam ruled out structural damage in Emilio Bonifacio’s injured thumb, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he’ll undergo surgery tomorrow and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

When the Marlins placed Bonifacio on the disabled list Sunday they indicated that the plan was for him to return after the minimum 15 days, but now he’s out until at least July. Miami also placed Austin Kearns on the DL today with a hamstring strain, so the Marlins are suddenly very thin in the outfield with Bryan Petersen and Chris Coghlan now slotted in as starters.

Before the injury Bonifacio was hitting .268 with a .351 on-base percentage and doing tons of damage on the bases with a league-leading 20 steals in 21 attempts. Of course, the injury came on a steal attempt and despite all the running he scored just 19 runs in 39 games.

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