The Angels will likely go with Brandon Wood at third

Leave a comment

Losing Chone Figgins to the Mariners opens a hole at third base for the Angels. One that some people have speculated will need to be filled with Adrian Beltre or someone like him.  It seems, however, that the Angels are more likely to finally give Triple A slugger Brandon Wood a chance to start and stick.

At one point Wood was considered one of the top five prospects in all of baseball.  He had a smattering of at bats in 2007, 2008, and 2009, but he’s seen much more of Salt Lake City than he has California. He hasn’t been consistent in his multiple cups of coffee, but the guy has simply raked down on the farm. He has power. He has nothing left to prove in the minors. It’s a play him now or lose him forever situation.

If the Angels do that, there’s an outside chance they’d get a Kendry Morales-style breakout season.  More plausible is simply good power for low money. If he doesn’t work out? Fine, go with some plan B, but I think that kind of risk is preferable to paying someone $9 or $10 million to fill the hole that Figgins leaves behind.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

Brian Blanco/Getty Images
3 Comments

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
8 Comments

Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.