Shelby Miller pulled from start due to back tightness

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The Cardinals lost both Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha to shoulder injuries on Sunday. Now they may be down a third starting pitcher in two days.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that right-hander Shelby Miller was lifted from his start Tuesday night at Coors Field because of tightness in his back. Miller complained of a hip stinger after a rough start last Thursday against the Phillies and he looked stiff on the mound throughout his 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday versus the Rockies.

Miller surrendered three earned runs on six hits and five walks Tuesday before exiting and the 23-year-old now has a 3.75 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 93 2/3 total innings this season. St. Louis is calling up 2013 first-round pick Marco Gonzales for his major league debut Wednesday and now there’s a little more pressure on the kid to perform. Joe Kelly is still at least a week away from returning from a severe left hamstring strain.

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.