Daniel Murphy done for season with torn MCL in left knee

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Yesterday was not a great day for the Mets’ infield. In addition to Jose Reyes aggravating his recent hamstring injury, Daniel Murphy was spiked on his left leg on a slide into second base by Braves’ outfielder Jose Constanza.

While it’s not yet clear if Reyes will require another stint on the disabled list, the early word on Murphy isn’t good. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Murphy will miss the rest of the season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Surgery will not be necessary, but the injury will require a four-month recovery time.

Ironically, Murphy sprained the MCL in his right knee last June on a takeout slide while playing second base with Triple-A Buffalo. He missed the rest of the season, but was able to rehab the injury and play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

Murphy entered this season without a clear role, but emerged as a key contributor as the Mets dealt with extended absences from David Wright and Ike Davis. The 26-year-old batted .320/.362/.448 with six homers, 49 RBI and an .809 OPS over 423 plate appearances. While he did his part offensively, he also made his fair share of mental errors in the field, doing little to squash the notion that he is a man without a position.

Terry Collins was so shorthanded yesterday that he was forced to use Wright at shortstop for the first time in his career, so the Mets are expected to recall Ruben Tejada from the minors in advance of tonight’s game against the Padres. They would likely add another infielder if Reyes needs to miss some time.

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.