Not every postseason hero gets to stick with their team forever — Francisco Cabrera had a nice moment, but 91 plate appearances after his big hit, he was gone — but Cody “death to inside fastballs” Ross isn’t likely to be one of those short term guys. Brian Sabean tells the Merc that the team is looking to keep the arbitration-eligible Ross after this season.
It helps that, even though Ross is making his national debut in many important ways this week, he’s a decent ballplayer. After a nomadic first few years in the bigs, Ross established himself in Florida, where he showed some nice pop. He doesn’t get on base particularly well, but compared to Aaron Rowand he’s practically Kevin Youkilis in terms of plate discipline. Moreover, given that Andres Torres has probably been playing over his head and given that Pat Burrell has nowhere to go but down, the Giants have to have someone they can rely on in the outfield going forward.
The question, though, is whether Sabean decides to simply do a one year arbitration-avoiding deal on a guy who can probably be counted on for a good year, or if he’s going to take those dingers he hit off Halladay and Oswalt a bit too seriously and think he has a multi-year contract-deserving superstar on his hands in Ross.
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.