Andy Martino of the Daily News says that two major league sources are telling him that if Oliver Perez doesn’t show “significant improvement” over his last outing when he takes the hill this afternoon that the Mets are going to cut him. This despite Terry Collins’ statement yesterday that Perez will have additional starts beyond today.
I kind of don’t give a darn about Perez, but this may be an interesting test of Collins. Martino notes that Jerry Manuel used to ruffle feathers on the team by talking publicly about a player’s job being in trouble, and casts Collins’ statement yesterday as a different kind of approach.
And it is. But isn’t it also the case that, if Martino is right and Perez is released, that Collins is either (a) undermined as a guy who has any kind of authority to speak about such matters; or (b) shown to have been something less than trustworthy based on his comment yesterday?
I’m guessing in the case of Perez, however, most guys on the Mets will forgive either (a) or (b) if it means getting Ollie off the team. Between his performance and his obstinate refusal to take a minor league assignment last year when he badly, badly needed one, they can’t be big fans of his at this point.
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.