Jay Bruce sidelined Wednesday with tweaked groin muscle

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Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is not in Wednesday’s lineup against the Padres because he tweaked a muscle in his groin on Tuesday night. This according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Reds are saying that Bruce is available to pinch-hit, a strong indication that the groin injury is minor and will not require an extended absence nor a stint on the 15-day disabled list.

Bruce is off to a slow start this season, batting just .220/.267/.268 with no home runs and only three RBI through 28 at-bats. Chris Heisey, hitting a healthy .294/.400/.471 in 17 at-bats, drew the start in right field on Wednesday night against San Diego’s Tim Stauffer. Bruce should be back in action by the weekend.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”