Jed Lowrie has been out since mid-June with a shoulder injury, but he’s rehabbing in the minors and Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that the infielder is on track to come off the disabled list Monday.
Lowrie is 4-for-12 (.333) with a double and two walks through four rehab games at Triple-A, but the Red Sox opted against rushing him back for this weekend’s series versus the Yankees.
He got off to an incredible start, hitting .368 in April, but then batted just .261 in May and went 4-for-36 (.111) in June before being shut down, leaving Lowrie with a .270 batting average and .723 OPS in 55 games overall.
By comparison, Marco Scutaro has hit .259 with a .684 OPS in 71 games and will likely keep the starting shortstop job for a while as the Red Sox work Lowrie back into the mix slowly.
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.