Brett Anderson to undergo season-ending back surgery

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It’s a lost season for the Rockies and now it’s pretty clearly a lost season for starter Brett Anderson.

Anderson will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday to repair a disk in his lower back. It’s another frustrated season for Anderson, who always seems to pitch well — this year he had a 2.91 ERA over eight starts and as a career ERA+ of 112 — but just can’t stay on the field. He’s only pitched in as many as 20 games in a season one time: his rookie year in 2009.

The recovery time for his surgery is five months, so he should be ready to go by spring training. But the question is what team he’ll be playing for come spring training. The Rockies hold a $12 million team option on him and for a pitcher of his quality that’s not terrible. The question is whether they’re going to gamble that he’ll actually be able to pitch enough to make it worthwhile.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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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 National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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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 West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics