Atlanta Braves v New York Mets

Daniel Murphy done for season with torn MCL in left knee

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Yesterday was not a great day for the Mets’ infield. In addition to Jose Reyes aggravating his recent hamstring injury, Daniel Murphy was spiked on his left leg on a slide into second base by Braves’ outfielder Jose Constanza.

While it’s not yet clear if Reyes will require another stint on the disabled list, the early word on Murphy isn’t good. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Murphy will miss the rest of the season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Surgery will not be necessary, but the injury will require a four-month recovery time.

Ironically, Murphy sprained the MCL in his right knee last June on a takeout slide while playing second base with Triple-A Buffalo. He missed the rest of the season, but was able to rehab the injury and play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

Murphy entered this season without a clear role, but emerged as a key contributor as the Mets dealt with extended absences from David Wright and Ike Davis. The 26-year-old batted .320/.362/.448 with six homers, 49 RBI and an .809 OPS over 423 plate appearances. While he did his part offensively, he also made his fair share of mental errors in the field, doing little to squash the notion that he is a man without a position.

Terry Collins was so shorthanded yesterday that he was forced to use Wright at shortstop for the first time in his career, so the Mets are expected to recall Ruben Tejada from the minors in advance of tonight’s game against the Padres. They would likely add another infielder if Reyes needs to miss some time.

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.