I’m having a hard time thinking of any jobs short of commissioner that Frank Robinson hasn’t held with Major League Baseball. Well, he’s got another one. Jimmie Lee Solomon’s old gig:
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson has been appointed Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today.
In his new role, Robinson will lead the management of MLB’s Urban Youth Academies in Compton, Houston and Puerto Rico, as well as the development of future sites in New Orleans, Hialeah (FL) and Philadelphia. Robinson also will be responsible for overseeing the Civil Rights Game and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Robinson managed the Indians, Giants, Orioles, Expos and Nationals. He was the Orioles’ assistant GM for a spell. He has also been the Vice President of On-Field Operations, the Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, a Special Assistant to the Commissioner, a Senior Vice President for Major League Operations and has served on Bud’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters since it began.
Really, they ought to just start listing the stuff he hasn’t done with MLB. It’ll make the press releases shorter.
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.