UPDATE: Kalish will have right shoulder surgery next week, reports Ian Browne of MLB.com.
6:56 PM: Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that Kalish is expected to undergo another shoulder surgery and will likely be out longer to start 2013 than he was last year. There’s little doubt that Kalish has the talent to be a useful player in the big leagues, but he just can’t stay on the field.
6:47 PM: Ryan Kalish likely would have logged significant playing time in Boston’s injury-plagued outfield last year, but he missed the early part of the season while he was rehabbing from shoulder surgery. It sounds like he’s going to get a late start again in 2013.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Kalish will likely need surgery for an unspecified injury, which would force him to miss spring training. This confirms a report by Matthew Stucko of MiLB.com. The specific nature of the injury isn’t yet known, but Bradford hears that it isn’t related to Kalish’s neck, which required surgery in September of 2011.
Kalish, who turns 25 in March, batted .229 (22-for-96) with three doubles, five RBI, three stolen bases and a .532 OPS in 103 plate appearances with the Red Sox last season. He probably would have needed a big spring to beat out Daniel Nava for a spot on the Opening Day roster, but thanks to more bad luck on the injury front, he apparently won’t even get the chance to compete.
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.