Wright Gone WrongWednesday, April 11, 2012
The Mets are off to a surprising 4-1 start and currently sit alone atop the National League East standings. But not everything is rosy this morning in Queens.
X-rays taken Tuesday evening on the right pinkie finger of Mets third baseman David Wright revealed a small fracture. It’s not the type of injury that will require surgery, but Wright told reporters that he couldn’t even grip a bat on Tuesday. He has been fitted with a protective splint and is being labeled as “out indefinitely.”
The Mets are hoping a visit to the Hospital for Special Surgery on Wednesday will yield an exact recovery timetable.
Wright, 29, was off to a 7-for-12 start and appeared poised to re-emerge as a major power threat this season courtesy of the reconfigured walls at Citi Field. Maybe he’ll only miss a couple of weeks and be able pick up right where he left off. But it’s the Mets, and it’s Wright, and we can’t fight back the thoughts of doom and gloom.
If Wright is out for an extended period of time, the Mets will likely shift Daniel Murphy to third base and hand starting second base duties over to either Jordany Valdespin or Justin Turner. Ronny Cedeno covered the hot corner on Tuesday night, but he's never hit enough to be treated as an everyday player.
Phillips Signs Extension, Is Out 3-4 Days
Just eight days ago, the Reds signed first baseman Joey Votto to a massive 10-year, $225 million contract extension. It seemed like a wild commitment for such a small-market team, and it led most in the industry to assume that impending free agent Brandon Phillips would be allowed to walk at the end of this season.
Phillips agreed to a six-year, $72.5 million extension of his own on Tuesday afternoon that will keep him in Cincinnati through the 2017 season. When you consider his age (he turns 31 years old in July) and the fact that much of his game is predicated on athleticism and speed, it seems like a risky deal. But the Reds have locked up two All-Stars in two weeks and can probably feel comfortable about remaining competitive in the National League Central for the next several years. Now if only the Queen City faithful would start showing up.
Phillips was off to a 4-for-15 start before tweaking his hamstring while running the bases during Monday’s loss to the Cardinals. The second baseman is expected to be out of the Reds’ lineup until the weekend.
Former Relievers Make Starting Debuts
On Tuesday night, former setup man Chris Sale made a spectacular debut in the White Sox starting rotation, throwing 6 2/3 innings of one-run, three-hit ball against the Indians. He struck out five batters, made it to 100 pitches without any noticeable fatigue and picked up his first win of the 2012 campaign.
But Sale isn’t the only guy making the big transition this summer.
In Texas, former closer Neftali Feliz fired seven innings of shutout ball against the Mariners, fanning four batters while surrendering only four hits. His velocity was down from where it was when he was locking down saves for the Rangers, but that’s to be expected and he still looked plenty dominant.
Things didn’t go quite as smoothly in Toronto, where Daniel Bard made his first career major league start for the Red Sox. He struck out six Blue Jays hitters and issued just one walk, but the 26-year-old former setup man yielded five earned runs on eight hits as Boston fell to 1-4 on the young season.
Nats’ Morse Suffers Significant Setback
The Nationals were hoping to have slugger Michael Morse in their starting lineup for Thursday’s home opener against the Reds. Unfortunately, that will not be happening.
Morse felt renewed discomfort in the area of his strained right lat Monday while making relay throws during a rehab game at Single-A Hagerstown. He pulled himself in the seventh inning and has now been shut down indefinitely.
The Nats are optimistic that Morse didn’t suffer a full-blown re-injury, but he’s likely to sit out for the next several days and could struggle to be cleared for major league action by the end of April. The 30-year-old first baseman and corner-outfielder batted .303/.360/.550 with 31 home runs and 95 RBI in 575 plate appearances last year. He is certainly going to be missed on Thursday afternoon in the nation's capital.
National League Quick Hits: Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman is day-to-day with tightness in his left calf … Chipper Jones homered Tuesday in his first game since being activated from the disabled list … An MRI taken Tuesday on Dustin Moseley’s right shoulder revealed “extensive damage” … Justin Upton is day-to-day with a jammed left thumb … The Brewers have suspended long-term contract negotiations with right-handed starter Zack Greinke … Chris Carpenter is undergoing a round of tests on his shoulder back in St. Louis and could be cleared to begin a throwing program if enough progress is shown … Braves closer Craig Kimbrel picked up his first save of 2012 on Tuesday against the Astros … Ross Detwiler tossed five shutout innings against the Mets Tuesday in his regular-season debut … The Padres may call up Joe Wieland to make his major league debut on Saturday … Cardinals third baseman David Freese has already accumulated three homers and 10 RBI through the first six games of the season … Clayton Kershaw held the Pirates to a run and four hits in seven innings Tuesday … Reds reliever Nick Masset (shoulder) has not been cleared to begin a throwing program.
American League Quick Hits: A’s reliever Joey Devine needs a second Tommy John surgery … Carl Crawford was sent back to Boston to have his left elbow examined after complaining of mild soreness … Edwin Encarnacion homered and stole two bases Tuesday in the Blue Jays’ defeat of the Red Sox … Mariano Rivera recorded his first save of the season Tuesday in the Yankees’ extra-innings win over the Orioles … Rangers closer Joe Nathan picked up his second save of the 2012 campaign Tuesday with a scoreless ninth inning against the Mariners … Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts (concussion) has progressed to daily batting practice … David Murphy went 3-for-3 on Tuesday and is now batting .533 this year … Mike Aviles is day-to-day with a twisted left ankle … Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos will be absent from Thursday through Saturday due to the birth of his child … A’s left-hander Brett Anderson threw a bullpen session Tuesday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery … Brendan Ryan was benched Tuesday because of an "accountability" issue … Jose Valverde picked up his first save Tuesday against the Rays as the Tigers improved to 4-0 … Luke Scott is day-to-day with a left hamstring pull … Making his 2012 debut, Matt Moore yielded two runs in 6 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Tigers.