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Previewing tonight’s Rising Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League

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Already missing real-live baseball? Of course you are. Well, fear not, as some of the game’s best prospects will be on display in the Arizona Fall League’s annual Rising Stars Game, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET tonight.

According to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, 28 of last year’s 50 Rising Stars played in the major leagues during the 2010 season, including Buster Posey, Ike Davis, Mike Leake and Starlin Castro, just to name a few. In other words, here’s your chance to catch some of next year’s sensations right now.

Manny Banuelos, a prospect in the Yankees’ organization, will start for the East while Mike Montgomery, a prospect in the Royals’ organization, will pitch for the West.

Banuelos, who turns 20 in March, posted a 2.51 ERA and 85/25 K/BB ratio over 15 starts between three different levels in the minor leagues this past season, reaching as high as Double-A Trenton. The left-hander was named as the Yankees’ No. 3 prospect by Baseball America this week. Montgomery, a 21-year-old southpaw, compiled a 2.61 ERA and 88/31 K/BB ratio over 20 starts between three different levels this season, including 13 starts with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The former 2008 supplemental first-round pick was ranked as the team’s No. 1 prospect by Baseball America coming into the season.

Rising Stars East lineup: CF, Trayvon Robinson (Dodgers), 2B Charlie Culberson (Giants), 1B Brandon Belt (Giants), LF Brandon Laird (Yankees), C Austin Romine (Yankees), RF Marc Krauss (Diamondbacks), DH A.J. Pollock (Diamondbacks), 3B Ryan Adams (Orioles), Tyler Pastornicky (Braves)

Rising Stars West lineup: CF Ben Revere (Twins), LF Caleb Gindl (Brewers), 2B Dustin Ackley (Mariners), 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals), C Ryan Lavarnway (Red Sox), RF Leslie Anderson (Rays), DH Eric Thames (Blue Jays), 3B Zack Cox (Cardinals), Jose Iglesias (Red Sox)

I know, I know. Where’s Bryce Harper? Unfortunately, he is ineligible for tonight’s game because he is a member of the “taxi squad.” Bummer. Still plenty of reasons to tune in, though. I’m mostly looking forward to watching Brandon Belt and Dustin Ackley play, as I have only seen a handful of at-bats from either until this point.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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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.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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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.