After confirming the signings of Xavier Nady and Henry Blanco earlier today, Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that he is essentially done with his offseason shopping list.
“I’d say there’s a good chance,” Towers said about making no more moves this winter. “We’ve kind of addressed all our needs. Our last two were backup catcher and we needed a right-handed bat. It’s not to say that we won’t add any more pieces before the start of the season, but if we had to start today we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at.”
Towers has certainly put an imprint on his new team in a short amount of time. Though he received more attention for not trading Justin Upton, he swapped Mark Reynolds for David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio, acquired Juan Miranda from the Yankees and Zach Duke from the Pirates and signed J.J. Putz, Melvin Mora, Geoff Blum and Wily Mo Pena, as well as the aforementioned Nady and Blanco. That’s quite a bit of turnover.
The Diamondbacks don’t look like a playoff contender as currently constituted, but it’s hard to imagine them being worse than they were in 2010. I mean, how many games could they have won if their bullpen ERA was the league average (3.98) instead of an obscene 5.74? I’m guessing quite a few. If there’s anything we know about Towers, the bullpen will be better.
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.