Things you may have missed while observing your seven year-old daughter silently putting the pieces together of the highly implausible Easter Bunny story but then — almost certainly — deciding not to tell you that she knows because she’s worried that if she does so there will be no more jelly beans for her:
- Tony La Russa fooled Dusty Baker. Eh, I don’t consider it much of a scam if it can be thwarted by the mark simply turning on a weather report.
- I sort of think this Jeff Wilpon story makes him seem funny and almost likable, but I can’t get past the fact that every picture I’ve ever seen of Wilpon makes him look like the smarmy secondary bad guy from some 80s movie. I’m thinking Paul Reiser in “Aliens.“
- Felipe Lopez is wearing out his welcome someplace? Why, I never.
- Neftali Feliz has shoulder inflammation and is on the DL. I was going to hold off judgment on this because it’s not like I have any medical knowledge or, really, any specialized knowledge about wear and tear on pitchers. I will note, however, that during last night’s Cards-Reds game, Orel Hershisher and Bobby Valentine both talked about how, pitch counts aside, a less durable arm may be better served as a starter than a reliever because it won’t be used as often in a starting role. This was in connection to Aroldis Chapman, but it makes me wonder if a set routine and less frequent outings may be a better call for Feliz.
- I’ve heard tell of this “Chase Utley,” but I figured he was more myth than man. Now some say we’ll see him come late May.
- Franklin Gutierrez has something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
- Dice-K continues to dominate. Last week I suggested this was a case of kidnapping or mistaken identity. Now I’m convinced that it’s more of a Robert-Johnson-at-the-Crossroads situation.
- Russell Martin is dominating too. With him I’m more inclined to believe that it’s just a matter of health, fitness, friendlier ballparks and a hot streak.
No, I’m not sure what Mookie’s stance is on Santa.
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.