The Giants activated both Andres Torres (Achilles’ tendon) and Mark DeRosa (wrist) from the disabled list Tuesday and inserted them right into the lineup for their game against the Diamondbacks.
Torres is returning to his usual leadoff spot, while DeRosa is playing third and batting seventh.
As expected, the Giants sent the struggling Miguel Tejada to the bench to make room for DeRosa. Tejada played shortstop before moving to third when Pablo Sandoval got hurt, but Mike Fontenot has been red-hot and will stay there for now. Tejada is hitting just .195/.230/.263 with one homer and nine RBI in 118 at-bats.
What is unexpected is that Aaron Rowand remains in the lineup in left field. Rowand did a nice job filling in for Torres last month, but he’s slumped of late: he’s hitting .212 with just one RBI and 12 strikeouts in eight games this month. Overall, he’s at .271/.317/.398 n 118 at-bats. Pat Burrell, who is taking a seat, is hitting .239/.364/.446.
The move signals a philosphy shift from manager Bruce Bochy. Before the season started, Bochy indicated that it was Torres who would move around the outfield when he and Rowand played together. Now, however, Torres is playing center and Rowand is making just his second start in an outfield corner since 2004. It’s just the fourth time in his career that he started in left field, though he did see a bunch of action there as a defensive replacement in his early days with the White Sox.
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.