Weird stuff happening at O.Co Coliseum? Well, I’ll be.
The Mariners and Athletics were postponed at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland last night despite nothing but blue skies. While it was an odd sight, the decision was made because the infield just wasn’t safe enough to play on. In fact, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told Greg Johns of MLB.com that it was “probably the worst conditions I’ve seen in all my years in baseball.”
The infield was in poor shape because it was not covered by a tarp during a rainstorm Thursday night into Friday morning. According to Athletics vice president of stadium operations David Rinetti, they weren’t expecting as much rain as they ended up getting and they simply failed to get the field ready in time.
“We had information last night that there was going to be a break in the storm,” Rinetti said. “And because of that, we wanted to use that opportunity to help dry out the field. Unfortunately we were wrong on the amount of rain, and we got about a third of an inch of rain last night. We did not have the tarp on the field.
“We got here this morning, the infield was under water, and we did everything possible starting at 7 a.m. to get the field ready for tonight,” he said. “Our grounds crew worked tirelessly to get the field ready, and unfortunately, after we met with the managers and the umpires, it was deemed that the field was not going to be ready to play on tonight.”
The hope is that the field will be playable by 4:05 p.m. ET this afternoon.
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.