The timetable for Carl Crawford’s return is still up in the air, but he continues to make progress in his rehab from a hamstring injury.
Crawford was able to run the bases this afternoon for the first time since being placed on the disabled list last month, according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com. More specifically, he ran from first base to second and from first to third. He was also able to take batting practice.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona hasn’t dismissed the possibility that Crawford could be back before the All-Star break, but said that he won’t rush him back just to play one game.
“If he’s ready on Sunday, we would probably wait,” Francona said. “If he’s ready before that, (general manager) Theo (Epstein) and I need to sit down and talk to Carl, which we will do. If you’re going to play one game when you’re supposed to have another four days (off) you’ll take the four days.”
Crawford is hitting .243/.275/.384 with six homers, 31 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .659 OPS over his first 277 plate appearances this season.
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.