Michael Conforto unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

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On Sunday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he doesn’t believe outfielder Michael Conforto will be ready for Opening Day, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Conforto, 24, missed the last six weeks of the 2017 season with a left shoulder injury. He underwent surgery in early September to repair a tear of the posterior capsule in his shoulder. Conforto finished the season batting .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in 440 plate appearances.

Though Conforto may not be ready for Opening Day, he should find himself in the lineup shortly thereafter. He’s expected to be a mainstay in the outfield, which currently sports Brandon Nimmo and Yoenis Cespedes. Referring to the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes, Alderson jokingly said on Sunday, “With Brandon Nimmo in right field, we just didn’t feel that we had a need there.”

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.