Yankees manager Girardi pleads his case with second base umpire DeMuth as he challenges a solo home run by Royals' Butler during their MLB American League baseball game in Kansas City

Yankees will “try to fight” decision about postponed doubleheader

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As Drew mentioned, it was announced last night that Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader between the Yankees and Orioles was postponed due to the pending arrival of Hurricane Irene. One of the games will be made up in a split-doubleheader Sunday while the other will be made as a night game on September 8.

Of course, the Yankees tried earlier this week to schedule a doubleheader for Friday, but the Orioles refused. And Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that they are still peeved about the situation.

“I don’t understand why we didn’t play a split doubleheader today,” an agitated Girardi said. “They changed things all over the country. They did it in Philadelphia, in Boston, in Florida, football’s been canceled. I mean, how long’s this forecast been out? Everyone knew it was going to rain like cats and dogs on Saturday. And now to take away our only off day? It makes zero sense. Someone’s got to step up.”

“We didn’t agree to play Sept. 8,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re going to fight it. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun lays out the scenario for the Baltimore side, writing among other things that the Orioles didn’t want to lose a home night gate against the Yankees. He also posits that the Orioles were coming off an 11-day, 10-game roadtrip and were still reeling as an organization following the death of Mike Flanagan.

I’m not really sure what the Yankees could accomplish by fighting this thing. It’s possible they could schedule a last-minute doubleheader for Monday or consider skipping the September 8 game altogether, but when the Yankees are basically a lock to make the playoffs, it’s tough to get too worked up about it.

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.