Plantar fasciitis can be a nagging, serious injury for position players, but the Dodgers are downplaying news that reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw has been diagnosed with the foot injury.
According to manager Don Mattingly he only feels the discomfort in his foot when he’s running and it has no impact on his pitching, so the Dodgers’ training staff is “trying different tape and things at night to help it go away.”
For a pitcher obviously a foot injury is a whole lot better than an arm injury, but plantar fasciitis tends not to go away quickly and enough position players have struggled to play through it that it’s natural to wonder if Kershaw’s mechanics could be negatively altered by the pain.
Mattingly revealed to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that Kershaw been getting treatment for more than a week already. He allowed three runs over seven innings against the Phillies in his last start Monday and allowed a season-high five runs over 5.2 innings against the Brewers last week.
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.