Dusty Baker still isn’t saying what is wrong with Michael A. Taylor that’s kept the 26-year-old outfielder out of the lineup for the last two games.
Baker declined to offer any detailed information before or after the series finale in Miami, other than to say that Taylor was unavailable.
Asked again this afternoon where the issue was, after Wilmer Difo was penciled in as the starting center fielder with Taylor sitting out again, Baker offered the reporter who wondered two reasons why he wasn’t saying.
“No. 1, it’s none of your business,” Baker said with a wry smile, “and No. 2, the opposition don’t need to know where. You know what I mean?”
“Certain things are our business. Everything is not the world’s business, you know what I mean?”
Baker offered an example of how letting opponents know what’s wrong with a player can come back to haunt you, citing former Buffalo Bills’ defensive end Bruce Smith, who once divulged that he had an injured right knee, “... and they went at his right knee the whole game, and that wasn’t fair to Bruce or the team or, you know, I just never understood that.”
“I hate to even disclose anything about anything,” Baker said.
As for what he would say about Taylor? “I told you the other day he was hurting,” Baker said.
“He feels better today, but just didn’t feel it was worth a chance on him going back to where he was. So, we’ll see, work on him during the course of the game, and he might be able to play some defense or something later, but we’ll see. We’ll see how the day progresses.”
And why did he go with Wilmer Difo, who played center in Syracuse this month, after he was optioned to the Nationals’ top minor league affiliate a few weeks back and is making his MLB debut in center field tonight?
“Well, he played there three games down there [in Syracuse] to try to — we didn’t know this was going to happen to Michael,” Baker explained.
“He was supposed to go to Winter Ball to play center field but he didn’t, so if you can play shortstop you can probably play center, much like Trea did, but we just hope that we can position him well, I think that was the best I could come up with tonight.”
Difo, who has 27 innings total in the outfield (including Spring Training) as a pro, took an odd route to a fly ball in right-center in the first, then misread a fly to short-center in the third that allowed a two-out run to score. Not the best start. Probably not really his fault either, as Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell wrote on Twitter:
What is Difo, w 27 INNINGS in OF in his life, doing in CF, not reaching 2 crucial fly balls. Not his fault. Should be Goodwin CF, Lind LF.— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) June 24, 2017