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New details emerge in the Alfredo Simon shooting case

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The bilingual Nick Collias, who translates articles for our friends over at MLB Trade Rumors, has been digging through Spanish language publications in the Dominican Republic this morning for more details on the Alfredo Simon shooting incident.

He was kind enough to pass along some of the information that has not yet been reported state-side.

Simon is currently being sought in his home country for allegedly shooting and killing 25-year-old Michel Esteban Castillo on the night of New Year’s Eve and gravely injuring his 17-year-old brother Starlin Castillo Hernandez.

From Manuel Gilbert of Listin Diario, translated by Collias:

“Relatives of the Castillo brothers said that they were in the Luperón town park at four in the morning celebrating the new year, when the player, without words, fired several times at the group that was in the town square, killing Michel Esteban Castillo and gravely injuring Starlin Castillo Hernandez.”

From El Dia, again translated by Collias:

“The player also wounded Starlin Castillo, younger brother of the deceased, when he allegedly shot into the air to celebrate New Year’s Eve, police said… Locals said the player, who had recently signed a $4MM contract with the Baltimore Orioles, is known to have shot in the air on other occasions.”

From the Venezuelan paper El Universal, also translated by Collias:

“A source from the police said Simon is negotiating his surrender to the authorities in order to be brought to justice in the coming hours.”

Piecing this whole thing together, it sounds like the younger Castillo shot a gun into the air in celebration of the new year.  Simon was nearby — also, likely intoxicated — and may have been spooked by the sudden gunfire.  So he shot in the direction of the blasts with his own fire arm.

Again, this is all based off second-hand reports from newspapers in another country.  When we get more details or word of Simon’s surrender, we will pass that information along.

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.