UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Cozart was diagnosed with a hyperextended left elbow and that X-rays came back negative. It’s not clear when he’ll be able to return to the lineup, but it sounds like the Reds may have dodged a bullet here.
5:45 PM: Here’s some potentially bad news for the Reds as they attempt to hang around in the National League Central.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart left today’s game against the Braves with an apparent injury to his left arm following an awkward collision with Nate McLouth at second base in the fourth inning. No word on the severity of the injury yet, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com likened the play to how Albert Pujols injured his arm last month.
Cozart, 25, has been a breath of fresh air since supplanting Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria at shortstop earlier this month, batting .324 with two homers, three RBI and an .811 OPS over his first 37 major-league at-bats.
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.