midnightcowboy

HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I think half the time I write that as “Weekend Wrapup” and half the time I write it as “Weekend Wrap.”  Eh, consistency is overrated.

  • That A.J. Burnett-Joe Girardi business from Saturday night.  True Fact: I landed in New York at about 9:30 AM yesterday morning. My cab driver, however, already had detailed inside information about all of this from “a guy who knows a guy who [he] used to work for who works for the Yankees now.” From nine hours earlier. When the Yankees were in Minnesota. He says the media got it all wrong and that “there’s a whole f**kin’ bigger story there that the Yankees ain’t gonna tell nobody.” But my cab driver knew it. OK.
  • Chipper Jones is coming back next year. Bloggers: set your macros for “day-to-day with ____ soreness.”
  • K-Rod is open to returning to the Mets next year. The Mets could not be reached for comment because they knocked their phones off the hook while convulsing from the most violent laughing fit in recorded history.
  • Brian Cashman doesn’t want to be the Cubs’ GM.  Or the Orioles or anyone else’s for that matter. Because while he appreciates that folks like to write stories about him going various places, he is not, in fact, certifiably insane.
  • The Yankees could maybe be interested in Rich Harden. I suppose “Harden beating the Red Sox in Game four of the ALCS after the Sox passed on him due to his medicals back in July” would make for interesting off-season fodder in Boston.
  • I can’t decide if 2011 will be known as the “The Year of Appendectomies” or “The Year of Oblique Strains.”
  • Give ’em enough rope
  • Jeff Jered Weaver signed a big contract extension. Some folks are saying that he cost himself many millions by signing now instead of when he hits free agency after 2012. That’s probably true. It’s also true that to get those extra millions he’d likely have to at least entertain the notion of going to New York, the city that helped chew up and spit out his older brother, and to bypass the chance to stay in beautiful Southern California and the pitcher-friendly AL West for a sum that will set him and his descendants up for several generations. So no, I’m not gonna get on the guy for this.
  • The Pirates locked up young talent. Kind of a new approach for them. No, not the spending money part. The having young talent part.

Into the week we go. And if I seem more chipper than usual this week, realize that my kids go back to school tomorrow. And, for the first time they’re both gone all day, five days a week.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my kids and love havin’ ’em around — but now I can blog pants-free while listening to The Dead Kennedys cranked up to 11. At least until about 3:45pm when they get off the bus.

The kids I mean. Not the Dead Kennedys. They would have no business riding a school bus in my neighborhood.

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.