Some unfortunate news this morning out of Atlanta.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman suffered a strained right oblique during Saturday’s comeback victory over the Cubs and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. There is no timetable for his return, but oblique strains typically require a recovery of 3-4 weeks.
Freeman, 23, hit an RBI single on Saturday night and is currently batting .412/.474/.647 through his first 19 plate appearances of the season. The Braves have a 4-1 record, tied for first in the National League East.
Blake DeWitt was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding 25-man roster move.
UPDATE, 10:33 PM: Freeman told Bowman that he actually suffered the oblique strain last Sunday. He’s been able to play through it and is upset that the Braves have suddenly opted to put him on the DL.
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.