Phillies confident Roy Halladay’s second opinion will confirm initial diagnosis

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There was some minor intrigue last week when Roy Halladay saw Dr. David Altchek in New York last week for a second opinion on his strained right lat muscle, but the Phillies aren’t alarmed.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer was told by Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. that Halladay’s second opinion is expected to confirm the initial diagnosis. The early estimate is that Halladay will miss six-to-eight weeks, but we’ll know a lot more about his progress after he tries throwing two weeks from now.

For what it’s worth, Amaro said Halladay was “symptom-free” while doing shoulder exercises this morning.

“He’s actually doing pretty well,” Amaro said. “He’s started doing some shoulder exercises, doing some upper body stuff now.”

Halladay had a 3.98 ERA and 56/14 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings through 11 starts prior to being placed on the disabled list early last week. The 35-year-old right-hander has logged more innings (1,487) than anyone since the start of the 2006 season. CC Sabathia is second with 1,470 innings, though he’s on pace to pass Halladay in the next month.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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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.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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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.