Cleveland Indians v Boston Red Sox

Rescheduling last night’s rained out Rays-Sox game: harder than you’d think

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The Red Sox and Rays game was rained out last night. One would think that rescheduling such a thing would be a cinch because these are division rivals, it’s early in the season and they will play each other a lot over the next several months. Yet, there is still some controversy and rancor.

The Rays didn’t want a day-night doubleheader today. They are slumping badly, they have multiple pitchers on the DL and the weather doesn’t look all that great for today either. They preferred a makeup game on one of the mutual off-days they and the Sox have before later series between the teams in Boston, but the Sox don’t want that because each time that occurs it deprives them of their only off-days in a long stretch or come after a long road trip.

One other factor that a lot of people were talking about yesterday? Last night was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia bobblehead day and, if the game is not made up today, the Sox are going to have to find storage for several thousand boxes of bobbleheads. That, however, the team is saying played no factor:

“I can assure you the bobbleheads had nothing to do with our decision to play two tomorrow,” [Sox COO Sam] Kennedy wrote in an e-mail Wednesday night. “We have a responsibility to play 81 home games each season, and two games tomorrow gives us the best chance. Of course, you never know what tomorrow will bring weather-wise, but that’s baseball in New England.”

So, it’s a day-nighter today. The Rays aren’t happy about it — there was a lot of back and forth with the league about it last night — but that’s what’s going down. And everyone who wanted to get a bobblehead last night can get one today.

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.