Carlos Beltran is already limited due to the situation with his right elbow, but now an issue from his past could be cropping up. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Beltran is out of tonight’s lineup after he reported some mild swelling in the back of his right knee.
Of course, Beltran had surgery on the very same knee in January of 2010 as a member of the Mets, so there is some reason for concern. He’s scheduled to see the Indians’ team doctor tonight at Progressive Field, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said no further tests have been scheduled.
“We’re going to give him a day off. I’ll find out later on if he’s available to pinch-hit,” Girardi said. “He’ll see their doctor today and see what they think. Not a lot, but just a little bit.”
Beltran, who signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Yankees over the winter, is batting just .216/.271/.401 with nine home runs and 28 RBI over 255 plate appearances this season. The 37-year-old has hit .192 with four homers and a .618 OPS in 28 games since coming off the DL about a month ago.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.