2013 was supposed to be the year of Oscar Taveras. He entered the season rated the #3 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com and was coming off of a season in which he decimated Double-A pitching at the age of 20. Some thought he would become a mainstay of the Cardinal offense by midseason, but an ankle injury suffered in mid-May with Triple-A Memphis put the kibosh on that.
Taveras returned from the injury on June 8 and played in 15 games before having to be shut down for the second time. He began a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League on July 15 and got shut down a third time after just two at-bats. Now, Derrick Goold is reporting that the Cardinals are shutting him down for the next ten days, barring him from any running activity.
The Cardinals had to place Matt Holliday on the disabled list earlier with a hamstring injury, so Allen Craig will get considerably more time in left field rather than first base. Matt Adams will get more consistent playing time at first base.
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.