Twins starter Francisco Liriano skipped a scheduled bullpen session Friday because he had a bit of tightness in his throwing shoulder. For a guy with his injury history, any kind of abnormal discomfort is concerning, but he is going to survive this little issue.
According to Phil Mackey of Minneapolis’ ESPN 1500 AM, Liriano checked out fine this morning in an examination by doctors.
He even played catch from 120 feet and told reporters that he is hoping to throw a bullpen session within the next couple of days.
Liriano, 27, went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 31 starts last season. He struck out an ace-like 201 batters in 191.2 innings and is expected to serve as the Twinkies’ No. 1 starter this year.
Gleeman touched on Liriano’s impending free agency and failed extension talks last week.
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.