Indians waive former top-10 pick Jeremy Sowers

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Once upon a time Jeremy Sowers was considered a big part of the Indians’ long-term plans, as the former sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft breezed through the minors and went 7-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 14 starts as a 23-year-old rookie in 2006.
Unfortunately he’s been a mess ever since, posting ERAs of 6.42, 5.58, and 5.25 while splitting the past three seasons between Cleveland’s rotation and Triple-A, and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians have placed him on waivers.
Despite being a top-10 pick Sowers never had a particularly high ceiling, but he was billed as an MLB-ready middle-of-the-rotation starter with “polish” and “command” coming out of Vanderbilt. Instead he’s turned out to be merely a soft-tossing southpaw with a high-80s fastball, amazingly hittable changeup, mediocre control, and non-existent strikeout rate.
In the three years since his promising debut Sowers has gone 11-26 with a 5.63 ERA and .291 opponents’ batting average in 312 innings, which along with underwhelming raw stuff is why the Indians were willing to cut a former top-10 pick loose before his 27th birthday. And why he may go unclaimed on waivers and remain in the organization after losing his spot on the 40-man roster.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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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

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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.