The Phillies may be in danger of losing another starting pitcher to injury. A.J. Burnett winced after throwing a pitch to Casey McGehee in the top of the fifth inning during Friday night’s start against the Marlins. After walking McGehee to load the bases, the Phillies’ trainer visited Burnett and the right-hander left the game, giving way to reliever Jake Diekman. Diekman was able to escape Burnett’s jam with two strikeouts.
Burnett’s Phillies career has not gotten off to a good start. After a successful debut in red pinstripes, Burnett walked six batters in back-to-back starts including Friday against the Marlins. Prior to the season, the last time Burnett walked six in a game was on July 18, 2011. In total, Burnett has a 3.94 ERA, but has walked 14 and struck out 10 batters in 16 innings.
We should get word on Burnett’s status soon. We’ll update you here.
Update (9:15 PM EST): Burnett exited with groin soreness, per David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. He was taken out for precautionary reasons.
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.