There’s something to be said for letting a kid play through some growing pains, but this has gotten absurd.
Twins shortstop Brian Dozier just committed his 11th error of the season, letting a routine grounder roll right between his legs to give the White Sox a run in the first inning. Even though he wasn’t even called up until May 6, he now has three more errors than any American League shortstop.
To put it nicely, his hitting has been no great shakes either. He entered the day with a .225/.249/.306 though 173 at-bats. Of the 210 players with at least 180 plate appearances this season, he ranks 206th with his .555 OPS. He’s struck out 33 times versus just six walks, and he’s even been thrown out on two of his four steal attempts.
So, if Dozier hasn’t been baseball’s worst player since his callup seven weeks ago, he’s almost certainly in the bottom five. It’s past time for the Twins to send him down for more seasoning. It’s not only in their best interests, but it’s probably in his as well, given that he can’t have much confidence left after struggling for so long.
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.