Ned Colletti called out Matt Kemp the other day. Yesterday Dave Stewart, who (a) is Matt Kemp’s agent; and (b) is one of the more intimidating dudes to have played the game in recent
history, fired back:
“This kind of thing in all the years I’ve been in baseball has never
happened with any general manager on any team I’ve ever played on where
you single out a player and you hold him accountable for the outcome of
what 24 other players are doing as well. There are 25
players on a team.”
Stewart also made a point to mention that Kemp is up for arbitration in the near future and within a couple of years of free agency. Which, given the context, strikes me as a warning to Colletti that if things keep up the way they are and his client keeps getting called out, Stewart and Kemp may not be in a dealing mood.
Which is a problem. Not as big a problem as the lousy signal it sends to every other player currently on or ever considering joining the Dodgers while Ned Colletti is on the job (i.e. we’ll throw you under the bus is we have to) but a problem all the same.
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.