According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, Magglio Ordonez is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to stabilize his fractured right ankle, ending his season and most likely his career in Detroit.
Ordonez fractured the ankle on a slide into home plate on July 24. Today’s announcement marks an unfortunate, but not completely unexpected end to a resurgent season. The 36-year-old batted .303/.378/.474 with 12 homers and 59 RBI over 323 at-bats this season.
You won’t hear the Tigers complaining about this, but the injury cost Ordonez a $15 million vesting option for 2011. You see, he needed 135 starts or 540 plate appearances this season, or 70 starts or 1,080 plate appearances in 2009 and 2010 combined in order for the option to vest. With last month’s ankle injury, his clock stopped at 71 starts and 365 plate appearances in 2010 and 173 starts and 883 plate appearances over the past two seasons.
The good news is that the procedure is considered minor and Ordonez is expected to be ready for spring training next season, but even the healthiest of late-30s outfielder-DH types are a tough sell in free agency these days.
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.