Tyson Ross began the season with back-to-back Quality Starts, but he’s gone just 1-6 with a 7.34 ERA since then and yesterday’s ugly outing versus the last-place Twins was apparently the final straw, as the A’s demoted the 25-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.
No corresponding roster move has been announced yet, but Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon McCarthy are both on the verge of returning from the disabled list and McCarthy figures to fill the empty rotation spot.
Ross has good raw stuff with a 92-mph fastball and sharp slider, but the 2008 second-round pick has yet to figure out big-league hitters. Since debuting in 2010 he’s made 17 starts and 27 relief appearances, throwing 122 total innings with a 4.86 ERA and 79/54 K/BB ratio. He’ll be back in Oakland soon enough, but Ross might be destined for the bullpen long term.
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.