Carlos Carrasco’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery was delayed by having to serve a six-game suspension left over from plunking Billy Butler with a pitch in 2011. With his suspension over, Carrasco returned to the mound last night against the Yankees … and was ejected in the fourth inning for plunking Kevin Youkilis.
Carrasco hit Youkilis after Robinson Cano hit a homer in a blowout and Yankees manager Joe Girardi is convinced it was on purpose, but afterward Carrasco insisted it was an accident:
I know it doesn’t look good. I really want to say sorry. I don’t want to hit anybody. I don’t want to do anything bad. I waited a year and a half to get my suspension [done] and everything. I don’t want to do that again. I don’t want to be suspended.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Carrasco waited for Terry Francona outside the manager’s office to explain himself and say he didn’t do it on purpose, but no one involved from either side seems fully convinced. And either way he’s probably facing another suspension.
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.