Mike Jacobs, the first athlete in North American pro sports to be suspended for failing an hGH test, is back in the majors for the first time since 2010 after being called up by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Jacobs, 31, served a 50-game suspension last year after testing positive for human growth hormone while playing for the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs. His promotion comes after he hit .279/.362/.486 with 18 homers in 333 at-bats for Triple-A Reno this season.
Jacobs, a 38th-round pick of the Mets in 1999, reached the majors in 2005 and hit 32 homers for the Marlins in 2008. His numbers took a nosedive in 2009, and he has appeared in just seven major league games since, all of them coming with the Mets in 2010. He said he used hGH last year to recover from back and knee injuries that had plagued him.
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:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
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:
New York Mets