Troy Tulowitzki lands on DL with groin strain

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The Rockies, currently 11 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, will have to go it without their All-Star shortstop for the next couple of weeks, as Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the DL Thursday due to a strained left groin.

Tulo had just been warming up at the plate, hitting four homers during a current nine-game hitting streak. His OPS had jumped from .741 to .846 during the span. He’d had also cut way back on the errors after a stunning early season binge.

With Tulowitzki out, the Rockies are expected to shift Marco Scutaro over to shortstop, putting Chris Nelson, who is coming off the DL after missing time with an inflamed wrist, and D.J. LeMahieu at second base. It doesn’t sound like the Rockies have any intention of putting Eric Young Jr. back there. Young spent most of his minor league career at second, but he’s been used exclusively in the outfield this season.

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