Francisco Rodriguez was placed on the restricted list in mid-August after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend’s father inside the walls of Citi Field. He did not throw another pitch and was not paid over the last month-plus of the regular season.
Hey may never pitching again for the Mets, but, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, K-Rod plans to get back to live baseball in early November.
The 28-year-old is close to being recovered from the torn right thumb ligament that he suffered in the alleged assault and has made plans to participate in the Venezuelan Winter League. Rodriguez turned in a 2.20 ERA, 67/21 K/BB ratio and 1.15 WHIP over 57.1 innings this season while converting 25 of 30 saves. He still has the goods and is likely to find another gig if the Mets want to cut ties completely.
Rodriguez and the Mets are close to agreeing on a settlement for the remaining $11.5 million on K-Rod’s current deal. He also has a $17.5 million vesting option for 2012 that will factor into the final number.
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.