Baseball’s consensus top prospect, 20-year-old Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, injured his left wrist diving for a ball on March 16 and the team announced today that he’s expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
Buxton was slated for Double-A and his odds of reaching the majors this season were fairly slim to begin with, but the news is particularly sad for Twins fans after the organization’s other stud prospect, third baseman Miguel Sano, underwent Tommy John elbow surgery that knocks him out until 2015.
For now Buxton has been diagnosed with a sprain and the Twins are hoping he can resume playing at some point in April, but … well, their injury timetables haven’t been particularly accurate in recent years.
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
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
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.