Alex Avila suffers concussion after being hit in head by backswing

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Tigers catcher Alex Avila was forced to leave last night’s game against the Red Sox in the eighth inning after he was hit in the head by David Ortiz’s backswing. You can watch the play here. According to Chris Iott of MLive.com, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after the game that Avila suffered what was termed as a “mild concussion.”

“Right now, we’re not really sure on the status,” Ausmus said. “They’re calling it a mild concussion, mild to the extent that they think he’ll be fine tomorrow. That being said, he won’t play tomorrow, regardless. But they do think he’s going to be fine tomorrow.”

Avila has had concussions in the past, including one which resulted in a stint on the 7-day disabled list last year, so the Tigers won’t take any chances. Bryan Holaday will fill in behind the plate for now.

Avila, 27, is batting .217/.341/.370 with four home runs and 13 RBI over 47 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.