Jorge Posada was plunked in the knee with a Jeremy Guthrie pitch in the second inning of yesterday’s Yankees-O’s game and is likely to miss today’s game due to what’s being called a contusion (“bruise” is much too pedestrian a word to use for one of the Core Four).
Joe Girardi didn’t like it:
“I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose, but he hits a lot of people. That’s frustrating for us. We know he’s going to pitch
inside and I don’t have a problem with that. What do you expect, me to
be happy that our guys are getting plunked? I’m frustrated by it. I wish
he had better command in there.”
The thing about it is that Guthrie doesn’t necessarily hit a lot of guys. Just a lot of Yankees. He plunked nine dudes last year, which didn’t approach the top of the league (that honor went to Girardi’s man, Joba Chamberlain), but five of them were Yankees. Three of his seven HBPs in 2008 were Yankees, two of which he nailed in one game.
In fact, of his 19 career HBPs, nine have come against the Yankees, and no more than three have come against any other team. In light of that, one gets the sense that Guthrie — who is prone to the gopher ball — is making a special effort to keep the Bombers from hitting bombs.
If so, maybe he wants to try something else, because he’s given up more homers to the Yankees than any other team he’s faced as well.
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.
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.