Mets manager Terry Collins gave some fairly optimistic quotes Monday regarding third baseman David Wright’s return timetable for spinal stenosis, but when general manager Sandy Alderson was asked about it later he downplayed the optimism.
Alderson told Mike Puma of the New York Post that there’s been “no change” in Wright’s status and he’s not ready to resume baseball activities yet. Wright has been out since mid-April and will almost surely require a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list, so he may simply run out of time to play again this season.
Daniel Murphy has shifted from second base to third base in Wright’s absence, with Wilmer Flores shifting from shortstop to second base and Ruben Tejada taking over at shortstop. There’s also been some speculation that the Mets could make a trade for a veteran third baseman, with Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers being a possibility.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”