Jayson Werth’s first rehab game pushed back to Saturday

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Jayson Werth was originally scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Potomac this evening. However, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com passes along word that the Nationals decided to scratch him due to a combination of the poor weather and some stiffness in his surgically-repaired left wrist.

It’s not a major concern at this time, as Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that the stiffness was expected and that Werth should be good to go tomorrow instead.

“That’s a good sign,” Johnson said. “He said he pushed it to the point where it got a little stiff. And he said once you get that, you’re good to go. He said he heated it up a little in here and did a few exercises and felt great. So he’s going tomorrow. No biggie.”

Werth has been sidelined since breaking his wrist while trying to make a sliding catch on May 6 against the Phillies. Barring any setbacks, he figures to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup in the early part of August, which should push left fielder Steve Lombardozzi back into a super-utility role.

Werth, who is in the second year of a seven-year, $126 million contract, was hitting .276 with three homers, 12 RBI and an .810 OPS in 27 games prior to the injury.

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