Rosenthal’s latest column reveals that the Diamondbacks “are discussing internally the possibility” of trading starters Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson. That sounds about two steps removed from something actually happening, but let’s talk about it anyway.
Haren would be a great pickup by a contender. Sure, he’s got a 5.56 ERA, but his K/9 ratio (9.2) and his K/BB (5.07) are just spiffy. Ground balls with eyes? A few too many dying quails? Maybe. Fact is, the guy is a freakin’ horse, having logged no fewer than 216 innings since coming over to Oakland in the Mark Mulder deal.
Jackson is obviously less of a prize. Electric when he’s on but frustratingly inconsistent, he has earned far more of his 6.03 ERA than Haren has. He’s a play for starting depth more than anything. And he could be a good one at that. After all, he was a part of the 2008 Rays rotation, so you can win with this guy.
I think the larger point to be taken from this is that the starting pitching pool at this year’s deadline — already pretty deep — is getting deeper.
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.
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.