Ryan Braun placed on bereavement list

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Just three days after returning from a right thumb injury, Ryan Braun has been placed on the bereavement list due to a family medical issue. The Brewers will announce a corresponding move after tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks, so they’ll play short-handed in the interim.

Braun is permitted to be on bereavement leave for a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven. The Brewers have four games left before the All-Star break, which means he’ll be eligible to return on Sunday. However, it’s not clear if he’ll be ready to return by then.

Braun was activated from the disabled list Monday and went 1-for-3 in his return to action on Tuesday before sitting out yesterday. The 29-year-old outfielder is batting .304/.380/.507 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 58 games this season.

2017 Preview: The American 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 American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.