Must-Click Link: Inside the mind of a Yankees beat writer

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Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger is, in my view, the best Yankees beat writer there is and is one of the best beat writers in all of Major League Baseball.

I like his temperament. I like that he always manages to be even-handed while not checking his brain or his opinions at the door.  He’s smart and he’s fair and his writing is informed by a curiosity about and appreciation of the game that has long left the writing of many other beats, if indeed they ever had it.

Today Moshe Mandel of The Yankee Analysts has a lengthy and highly informative Q&A with Carig that sheds a huge amount of light on the way a good beat writer approaches his or her job.  It’s required reading for anyone who ever plans on criticizing someone in the media. And criticism is totally fair game according to Carig. The point is to know what the hell these guys do before you rip them.

Just fantastic reading if you care at all about baseball media.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.