Jay Bruce's 2017 season was basically a carbon copy of his 2016 campaign. There were the usual peaks and valleys, but the final numbers were highly valuable. He once again split time between two organizations, landing with the Indians in a trade after spending the previous season between Cincinnati and New York. Bruce improved his walk rate, boosting it from 7.5 percent to 9.2 percent, while maintaining a reasonable 22.5 strikeout percentage. His ISO and hard-hit marks both ranked within the top 20 among qualified hitters, and improved defense helped Bruce's real-life value heading into free agency. Bruce still struggles against lefties -- he hit .222/.285/.433 against them last season and has a .226/.291/.421 line against them for his career -- but he has a long track record of success against righties, and he's still young for a player with a decade of major-league experience. He signed a three-year deal with the Mets and figures to serve as a placeholder for Michael Conforto (shoulder) before eventually moving to first base.
Bruce signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Mets on Wednesday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports. Bruce is set to rejoin the Mets after spending parts of the past two seasons in New York prior to being traded to the Indians in August of 2017. The 30-year-old is coming off another productive season during which he hit .254/.324/.508 with 36 homers and 101 RBI in 146 games. He figures to slide in as the team's starting right fielder, though he could also see time at first base, according to James Wagner of The New York Times.
Bruce went 1-for-4 with a solo home run during Thursday's win over Minnesota. The solo shot gives Bruce a career-high 35 homers for the campaign, as the slugger has built off of his 2016 rebound. His .254/.321/.506 slash line doesn't jump off the page, but it's serviceable alongside his home runs, 97 RBI and 81 runs. It won't be shocking if Bruce is ripe for profit in the middle rounds of drafts again next spring, but first we have to see where he lands as a free agent.
Bruce (calf) is in the lineup Sunday against the Mariners. Bruce will serve as Cleveland's designated hitter for Sunday's outing. He'll look to get back on track at the plate, as he's failed to pick up a hit in either of the Indians' last two games.
Bruce (heel) is hoping he can serve as designated hitter Sunday after being removed from Saturday's game, Zack Meisel of The Athletic Cleveland reports. The outfielder was reportedly removed for precautionary reasons, and the fact Bruce already is setting up to play a day later is encouraging. His owners should check his lineup status Sunday.
Bruce was removed from Saturday's game against the Indians with left heel discomfort, Zack Meisel of The Athletic Cleveland reports. The extent of Bruce's setback is not certain, but the report adds he was removed for "precautionary reasons," so it's likely the Indians were just playing it safe since all they really have left to play for at this point is home-field advantage in the postseason. It remains to be seen if Bruce will miss any additional action.