In a surprising move, the Diamondbacks designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment on Monday and replaced him with youngster Josh Bell.
Ransom, 36, is pretty much the ultimate journeyman infielder, but he did a great job at the plate in his time for Arizona, hitting .269/.345/.577 with four homers and 13 RBI in 52 at-bats. Of course, he had cooled off recently, going 1-for-15 over the last 13 days.
Bell had been red-hot in Triple-A since being picked up from the Orioles, hitting .381/.429/.619 in 97 at-bats, so it’s not surprising that the Diamondbacks wanted to give him a look. Still, it just doesn’t seem fair that they jettisoned Ransom to do it. Besides Chris Young, Ransom had the highest OPS of anyone on the team.
Ransom’s hot streak and major league-minimum salary should get him a look elsewhere now that Arizona is done with him. Just in the NL West alone, the Dodgers, Giants and Padres could all use infield help.
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.