Rays left-hander David Price injured his neck Thursday while toweling off between innings during a Grapefruit League start against the Tigers.
But it was only a minor tweak and might not affect his spring training throwing program whatsoever.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Price is likely to be cleared to make his regularly scheduled start Tuesday against the Orioles. And if he’s pushed back at all, it will only be for one day.
“When I woke up (on Friday) it felt almost normal,” an optimistic Price told the Times on Saturday.
The 26-year-old southpaw registered a sparkling 3.49 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 34 starts last year for the Wild Card-winning Rays, striking out 218 batters and issuing only 63 walks across 224 1/3 innings of work.
UPDATE, 11:41 AM: Price made it through a bullpen session Sunday, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, and proclaimed himself ready for Tuesday. The Rays haven’t made anything official.
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.