Not satisfied with adding Corey Hart to the lineup today the Mariners have also acquired Logan Morrison from the Marlins for right-hander Carter Capps, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Morrison has been mostly injured and ineffective for the past two seasons, hitting just .236 with a .708 OPS in 178 total games, but he has good plate discipline and 25-homer power from the left side of the plate and is still just 26 years old.
Hart and Morrison both have plenty of previous outfield experience, so the Mariners will divvy up the first base, left field, and designated hitter playing time three ways among Hart, Morrison, and Justin Smoak. And whatever chance there was of Kendrys Morales re-signing with Seattle is now gone.
Capps was the Mariners’ third-round pick in 2011 and has struggled in the majors so far with a 5.04 ERA, but he throws in the high-90s and has racked up 94 strikeouts in 84 innings after posting awesome numbers in the minors. He’s also 23 years old, so there’s definitely plenty of upside for a late-inning bullpen role in Miami.
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.