Elbow soreness puts Zack Greinke’s next start in doubt

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Zack Greinke skipped his usual between-starts bullpen session because of elbow soreness and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly declined to say whether he expected the right-hander to take his next turn in the rotation Thursday against the Padres.

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports that Greinke complained of elbow soreness following his August 9 start. He then tossed five shutout innings Friday against the Brewers, but Greinke walked a season-high five batters and needed 99 pitches to record 15 outs before the early exit.

Dodgers starters Hyun-Jim Ryu, Josh Beckett, and Paul Maholm are already on the disabled list, which is why they traded for veterans Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez as rotation depth.

Greinke has been brilliant this season with a 2.75 ERA and 170/35 K/BB ratio in 157 innings, giving him a combined 2.69 ERA in 53 starts for the Dodgers since they signed him to a six-year, $147 million contract.

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.