The bad news continues to pour in for Ian Stewart, the Rockies’ once-promising corner infielder.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the 26-year-old is still being bothered the inflammation in his left wrist that put an early end to his 2011 season and has backed out of a scheduled visit to the Rox’ fall instructional league, which ends in a week.
Stewart is hoping to feel well enough in a month so that he can play winter ball down in Mexico.
A former first-round draft pick, Stewart will be entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and is in danger of being non-tendered by the Rockies this winter. After tallying 43 home runs between 2009 and 2010, he batted just .156/.243/.221 this season with zero home runs, only seven extra-base hits and six RBI in 136 major league plate appearances.
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.
With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.
Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.