Something that lasts entirely too long and the Yankees and Red Sox are involved? This sounds familiar.
Robinson Cano was just crowned the winner of the Home Run Derby, topping Adrian Gonzalez 12-11 in the finals. Of course, Cano owes a big-time assist to his father and former Astros pitcher Jose Cano, who served up all of his 32 home runs for the evening. While this event has many, many faults, the final was actually a pretty cool showcase.
No surprise, the left-handed hitters had the edge in Chase Field tonight. None of the four right-handed batters made it through the first round. Matt Holliday had five homers (and was eliminated in a swing-off), MLB home run leader Jose Bautista slugged four, Rickie Weeks had three and Matt Kemp managed only a pair.
Prince Fielder, who received plenty of boos from the Arizona crowd for not including Justin Upton in the competition, was the only member of the National League squad to make it into the second round. And he needed a swing-off to get there. The American League outpaced the National League 76-19 on the evening. Yikes.
Cano and Gonzalez advanced to the finals by collecting 20 homers over the first two rounds. They beat out David Ortiz and Fielder, who had nine apiece over the first two rounds.
And with that, let’s never speak of this again.
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.