Nyjer Morgan wraps up his eight-game suspension today, which means that he is expected to return to the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Braves, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
As our own Drew Silva told us over the weekend, Morgan used his time away from the diamond to make some much-needed amends, but from what he told Kilgore on Friday, it sounds like he has also gained a new perspective on things.
“I’m happy everything is over with,” Morgan said. “Now I can just keep
going and look at the positives and keep trying to build. Just try to
finish strong, just try to get some momentum going into next year.”
“Be smart about certain situations. Don’t let my emotions get the best of me. That’s it.”
Morgan, 30, is batting .258/.318/.318 with 23 RBI, 57 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 50 attempts this season. There’s still a pretty good chance he’ll end up non-tendered by the Nationals in December, but he at least has the final few games of the season to showcase the best parts of his game.
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.