UPDATE: According to Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that Morrow was in “considerable pain” and that the injury was “probably substantial.” It sounds like a DL-stint is likely in his future.
8:10 PM: Davidi reports that Morrow was diagnosed with a left oblique strain. He’s considered day-to-day right now, which suggests that the injury is minor, but we should know more on his status in the next couple of days.
7:40 PM: Bad news for the Blue Jays.
Shi Davidi of of Sportsnet.ca reports that Brandon Morrow left tonight’s start against the Nationals in the first inning with an apparent injury to his right side.
Morrow gave up a leadoff double to Steve Lombardozzi before suffering the injury on a pitch to Bryce Harper. He threw just nine pitches before being replaced by Chad Beck.
We should hear more on his status soon, but an oblique injury would likely mean a stint on the disabled list. Losing Morrow would be a tough break for Toronto, as the 27-year-old right-hander is off to the best start of his career. Sacrificing some velocity and strikeouts for the sake of improved command and control, he entered tonight’s action with a 2.92 ERA and 67/24 K/BB ratio in 12 starts. He also leads the majors with three shutouts.
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.