Chris Getz returned from the disabled list last night and the Royals will also activate Jonathan Sanchez to make tonight’s start versus the Brewers.
Sanchez has been out since May 9 with biceps tendonitis and had a 6.75 ERA in six starts before being shut down. He also gave up 10 runs in 13 innings during a minor-league rehab assignment, so Brewers hitters should be licking their chops.
Getz reclaimed the starting second base job, which sent prospect Johnny Giavotella back to Triple-A after getting sporadic playing time from manager Ned Yost. Giavotella has yet to produce in 67 games as a big leaguer, although his .613 OPS is nearly identical to Getz’s career mark of .629.
Presumably at some point the Royals will simply give Giavotella an extended opportunity to show that his .336 batting average in 141 games at Triple-A makes him a long-term building block, but he’ll be 25 years old in a month and it hasn’t happened yet.
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.