Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies tweak rosters for LCS

Leave a comment

Following their first-round victories the Yankees, Dodgers, and Phillies have each made a slight roster change for the LCS.
New York has dropped bench bat Eric Hinske in favor of pinch-runner Freddy Guzman, which makes sense given that Hinske would rarely get the call to pinch-hit for anyone in the Yankees’ stacked lineup after batting just .242/.348/.432 this year. Guzman probably won’t see much action either, but could be used to run for Jorge Posada or Hideki Matsui if fellow speedster Brett Gardner is playing center field.
Now that Chan Ho Park is recovered from his hamstring injury the Phillies have added him to the bullpen in place of Brett Myers, who isn’t very happy about being removed from the roster. Myers has had success as a reliever in the past, but he hasn’t looked good since coming off the disabled list last month and Park was outstanding before his injury, posting a 2.52 ERA and 52/16 K/BB ratio in 50 relief innings.
Los Angeles bumped Jon Garland and Jeff Weaver for Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Elbert. Kuroda will start Game 3 after missing the first round with an injury and Elbert will serve as a third left-hander in the bullpen, which may come in handy against the Phillies’ lefty-heavy lineup. Weaver got the win in Game 1 of the NLDS and Garland had a 2.72 ERA in six starts down the stretch after being acquired from Arizona, but Chad Billingsley’s demotion to the bullpen made them both somewhat superfluous.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.