In a move which should come as no surprise, the Cubs announced this morning that they have designated Randy Wells for assignment.
Wells failed to make it out of the fourth inning last night against the Mets. The 29-year-old right-hander gave up three runs and issued four walks, including one to opposing pitcher Dillon Gee, who was trying to give him an out with a sacrifice bunt.
Wells posted a 3.02 ERA as a rookie back in 2009, but he hasn’t come anywhere close to the same success since. After being limited to 23 starts last season due to a forearm injury, he has an ugly 5.34 ERA and 14/24 K/BB ratio over 28 2/3 innings this year.
Wells is making $2.705 million this season as a first-time arbitration-eligible player, so he should pass through waivers easily. As Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com notes, today’s move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who should officially sign with the Cubs within the next few days.
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.